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:: News In Brief

Derry in food waste crackdown 06.06.17
HOUSEHOLDERS in Derry face new restrictions regarding food waste disposal from this week. An extra 20,000 food caddies have been distributed across the city and district to encourage families to participate in the environmentally-friendly scheme. Homes provided with the caddies are asked to no longer dispose of any food waste in their black/grey bins. Cleansing crews will regularly check the bins and will issue warning stickers asking householders to remove food waste from grey-black bins or they will be rejected for collection.

Majella sends good wishes to Olivia Newton-John 06.06.17
CANCER survivor Majella O'Donnell has sent a message of support to friend Olivia Newtown-John who has revealed she's again fighting breast cancer.
The 'Grease' star (68) said recent back pain was the result of cancer returning and spreading to her lower spine, 25 years after her first diagnosis. The English-Australian singer has been friends with Majella and Daniel O'Donnell for a number of years. Majella (57), who is three years cancer-free, said she was saddened by the news and sent the singer "lots of love".

Parrot's multicultural adventure 05.06.17
A PARROT that accidentally escaped his home and was attacked by magpies has been reunited with his 'overjoyed' family after a multicultural adventure in the West.
Paulie, a conure parrot and South America native, left his Slovakian family distraught after accidentally escaping Galway home last week.
The exotic blue-green bird was later discovered flying loose at Mill Street near the city centre, where he was 'tormented' by corvids including crows and magpies.
Luckily, a young locally-based American couple managed to catch the hapless creature and bring him to safety. Paulie's delighted owner said he was "very happy" to be home.

Tragic creature could not be saved 05.06.17
A SWAN that crash-landed on railway tracks as a train approached was too badly injured to be saved. The young female got into difficulty after hitting Lough Atalia railway bridge in Galway and landing on the tracks.
A volunteer from Galway & Claddagh Swan Rescue rushed to her aid but her wounds were too extensive and she sadly had to be euthanised.

Take-off for new Derry to London flight 03.05.17
THE bmi regional’s new service between City of Derry Airport and London Stansted commenced operations yesterday. Passengers departing and arriving on the inaugural flight were treated to light refreshments, entertainment and a keepsake certificate to mark the occasion. Bmi regional welcomed the Mayor of Derry Mayor Hilary McClintock was on the inaugural flight at 6.45am on Tuesday. “The route runs twice daily on a 49-seater jet aircraft with an early morning departure each day that is particularly suited to business travellers and commuters from the region to arrive in Central London early in the morning and complete a full day’s business before returning back on an early evening flight," she said. I would like to extend my best wishes to bmi regional and wish them every success for this route,” she added.

Council celebrates ‘smoke-free’ decade
DERRY City and Strabane District Council are this week celebrating the ten year anniversary of Northern Ireland officially becoming ‘smoke-free’.
On April 30, 2007, legislation came into effect to ensure that all enclosed work spaces, including vehicles, would become smoke-free to reduce the impact of smoking, particularly passive smoking, on people's health. Mayor Hilary McClintock said: “I think we can all agree that this change in law has been to the benefit of everyone in improving the work environments and travel conditions for people of all ages." More than 2,300 people die in the North each year from smoking-related illnesses. Meanwhile, the Western Health and Social Care Trust became the North's first smoke-free trust, in 2014, making smoking prohibited by anyone, anywhere on trust premises.

Leader programme "not working" - TD
Fianna Fáil TD for Donegal Charlie McConalogue says the current Leader programme is not working for rural companies. More than three years after the latest round of applications opened, he said not a single cent has been spent on projects to date. New information released to Fianna Fáil has also revealed that only 15 projects have been approved for funding since 2014. “It beggars belief that we are now halfway through the Leader programme and companies are still to receive their funding allocations. What’s worse is the fact that in the three years since the applications process opened an only 15 projects have been approved for funding," he said, adding that nearly 300 expressions of interest from Donegal have been lodged for Leader funding.

Artisan food at Walled City Market
DERRY'S Walled City Market scheduled to take place this Saturday is set to be "another big success with its unique variety of quality artisan food and craft produce", the local authority said. The operation of food markets is a key priority for Derry City and Strabane District Council which says it's committed to promoting local food produce and giving local food producers a forum to showcase their produce. The market will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2017 in Waterloo Place, Derry.

Jobs for new Irish diplomats
DO you have a cool head, "emotional strength" and a strong interest in other cultures? You could be the next globe-trotting Irish diplomat with a salary scale between about 31,000 euro - 59,000 euro.
The Department of Foreign Affairs has just opened the recruitment process for a band of new third secretaries - an entry grade position previously held by diplomatic and political veteran Martin Mansergh as a 28 year old in 1974.
But the selection brief is demanding and would suggest that slouches need not apply. Closing date for applications is May 11, 2017 with more information at .

Bat avoids dishwasher cycle
A WOMAN was left drained after finding a live bat on a plate as she washed the dishes. The little creature, nicknamed 'Suds', had a lucky escape when he nearly ended up in a dishwasher cycle.
The Limerick woman was rinsing plates to load the machine when she mistook the small mammal for a wet leaf and almost scraped it away.
"To her amazement it moved and gave her a bit of a fright," said Rosie Campbell of Animal Magic Wildlife Rescue, where the bat is recuperating.

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.

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