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:: News In Brief

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: www.derrystrabane.com .

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
14.03.17
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
14.03.17
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 www.concern.net .

Warm welcome for new rural bus route
14.03.17
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.

Homes sought for billy goat kids 07.03.17
AN Irish rescue centre is seeking homes for over 100 male baby goats being offered up for adoption by a commercial goat milk farm.
LittleHill Animal Rescue said they had been contacted by a kind-hearted farmer who, despite the billy goats not being milk-producers, doesn't want to send them to slaughter.
Susan Anderson, who runs the sanctuary, told Inishowen News she will only be able to save as many goats as she can find homes for. The herd animals will ideally be rehomed in pairs and will be neutered before adoption.
"We're not sure exactly how many there will be, but we think we're going to need homes for between a hundred and two hundred baby goats that are due to be born in the next couple of weeks.
"We will need fosterers prepared to bottle feed for about seven weeks and then knowledgeable and suitable forever homes for these little fellas," added Ms Anderson. Please register your interest as a foster carer or permanent home on the LittleHill Animal Rescue Facebook page.

Poison agency's Spring-loaded joke
07.03.17
THE National Poisons Information Centre (NPIC) has shared some seasonal humour with a serious safety message behind it.
As daffodil season gets underway, Irish people are being warned not to confuse the perennial flower's poisonous bulbs with spring onions when out shopping for vegetables.
A bunch of unopened daffodil bulbs bears a striking resemblance to a bunch of scallions but are "very poisonous" if eaten.
Now the NPIC has taken to social media, describing a ‘case’ of a woman who was hospitalised after eating a daffodil bulb in place of an onion.
"Doctors said I should be out sometime in Spring!" goes the punch-line, as shared by the NPIC with its 20,000 Facebook followers.
Figures in the UK show that some 63 people suffered daffodil poisoning between 2009 and 2015. It prompted Public Health England to write to supermarkets asking them to keep daffodil bulbs well away from vegetable stands to avoid customer confusion.

Pigeon falls down chimney onto fire
06.03.17
A Dublin woman got a huge shock when a hapless woodpigeon fell down her chimney on to a lit fire.
The quick-thinking homeowner managed to scoop the unfortunate bird out of the grate before it was burned to death.
The creature, which suffered burns to its tail feathers and suspected smoke inhalation, is now being treated with pain medication and antibiotics.
Kildare Animal Foundation Wildlife Unit said the woman's rapid actions saved the pigeon from fatal harm.
"We received a call this morning from a lady in Dublin about a woodpigeon that had fallen down her chimney on to a lit fire.
"She acted quickly and managed to rescue him before too much damage was done. However, he has badly burnt tail feathers and some signs of possible smoke inhalation," the charity told Facebook followers yesterday.

Crackdown on deer poachers
06.03.17
RESTAURANTS and individuals are being urged not to buy venison from illegal sources as a crackdown on deer poachers gets underway along the border.
The PSNI is running Operation Wild Deer to tackle an upsurge in deer poaching in woodland areas such as the Clogher Valley in Co Tyrone.
The operation includes police firearms officers working in conjunction with wildlife liaison officers to combat the crime.
And the North's Food Standards Agency has warned that illegally-caught deer could pose a threat to the human food chain because proper meat-handling procedures are not being followed by the poachers.

Witness appeal after man dies in Malin crash 21.02.17
GARDAÍ are appealing for witnesses after a man in his 30s was killed in a road crash at Malin last night. The two-vehicle collision happened at Strand Head, Malin, about 6pm. Diversions are still in place this morning.
Investigating officers say the victim was was pronounced dead at the scene following the accident. His body was taken to Letterkenny University Hospital for post mortem. The driver of the other vehicle, also in his 30s, was uninjured. Both men were the sole occupants of their vehicles. A forensic crash investigation is underway at the scene today. Gardaí are asking for information from anyone who travelled the road between 5.45pm and 6.15pm last evening to contact Buncrana Garda Station on 074 9320540; the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.

Rural plan "too little, too late" - McConalogue 25.01.17
DONEGAL TD., Charlie McConalogue says he’s "seriously concerned" about the Government’s latest initiative to revitalise rural areas.
“The plan is too little, too late and is simply a rehash of previous announcements made by the Government. It is completely underwhelming and fails to set out a forward looking, imaginative strategy. We need a plan to reinvigorate rural and border counties like Donegal, but unfortunately this proposal falls short," said Deputy McConalogue. "Fine Gael has not learned that spin doesn’t bring jobs to rural towns, spin doesn’t keep post offices, schools and GP surgeries open, and spin certainly doesn’t entice young people to stay in rural regions to work, raise a family, and energise their communities," added the Fianna Fáil deputy.

Doherty hits out at tracker "crime" in Dáil
25.01.17
DONEGAL TD., Pearse Doherty has called on all politicians to support his motion supporting "the victims of the tracker rate mortgage scandal". Deputy Doherty said: “It is my honour to move this motion here tonight – to say clearly and loudly that the Dáil stands with the victims of the tracker scandal and that we want to see the banks sort out the mess they created.
“The Central Bank need to make sure that customers are returned to the tracker rate they are entitled to, not the tracker rate the bank would like to give." Meanwhile, The Sinn Féin deputy said he would support anyone who "feels they have been robbed" if they report the matter to their local garda station. "It is their right the same as it is when you are mugged walking down the street. Theft is theft," the Sinn Féin deputy added.

Revenue urges workers to check tax 23.01.17
REVENUE is encouraging taxpayers to use online PAYE Services in myAccount to check all their tax details; tax credits and refunds - as employers issue P60s in the coming weeks. More than 52,000 taxpayers have already used the new facility to register a new job quickly and easily online, to avoid emergency tax, Revenue said. You can use the new RevApp to access myAccount , MyEnquiries , Calculators and Tools, and a Receipts Tracker. Upload your receipts information and images to Revenue storage and you don’t have to keep the original receipt.

Women advised to go for cervical screening 23.01.17
THIS is European Cervical Cancer Week and the Irish Cancer Society is urging women to go for cervical cancer screening. The society said Irish women "need to understand that they can reduce their risk of developing cervical cancer if they attend their free screening appointment". Cancer Nurseline manager Naomi Fitzgibbon said: “In Ireland, an average of 300 women every year are diagnosed with cervical cancer and it is the second most common female cancer in Europe. While these numbers are reducing, it is still absolutely vital that women take part in their screening and keep up to date with their free smear tests." All women aged 25 to 60 are entitled to free tests through the State’s CervicalCheck screening programme and can arrange the test with their own local GP or family planning clinic.

Donegal to read 'The Breadwinner' 23.01.17
READ DL 2017 got off to a great start when it was launched on Thursday in the Central Library by local volunteer Aidan O’Doherty.
The book chosen this year is ‘The Breadwinner’ by Canadian author and activist Deborah Ellis and tells the story of one family’s survival under Taliban rule in Afghanistan. It is told by the daughter, Parvana. READ DL is a reading movement that aims to bring Donegal communities together by giving them "a shared experience of reading the one book for a period of time in the year". The event runs until early March and copies of the book are available in local libraries. Children and their families in Donegal are encouraged to read and discuss the chosen book, along with taking part in various activities held in schools, libraries and in the community. For more information on READ DL 17 contact Paddy Hannigan on 086 8103973

Golfer raises millions for sick Irish children 23.01.17
GOLFER Graeme McDowell is celebrating his greatest prize yet after raising a whopping 3.3 million euro for sick children in Ireland. The 37-year old sportsman, through his G-Mac Foundation, has hosted the annual Best of Ireland gala for the past six years to raise money for Our Lady's Children's Hospital and National Children's Research Centre in Crumlin, Dublin. The latest event was held in New York on Thursday and pulled in a whopping $700,000 (650,000 euro) in one night.
The golfer also revealed that the annual event had raised €3.3 million in the past six years for Crumlin.

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