On Monday, the 19th of November, a group concerned about the expansion of forestry in Co Leitrim visited Portlaoise to make their case about the impact of the over-forestation on their lives. The Save Leitrim group brought a number of appeals before the Forestry Appeals Committee, an independent body set up to hear appeals against decisions on license applications for afforestation and related activities. It is understood the Save Leitrim group brought appeals against two proposed forestry developments at this week’s meeting. John Brennan, member of the group says they also have serious concerns about the monoculture model for forestry being used in Ireland.
A radiographer who works at Roscommon University Hospital is celebrating after being nominated for and winning a national award for her work. This week Ann Marie Healy, from Roscommon town, said: “She’s very proud and delighted” for having been named ‘Radiographer of the Year.’ The mother of two, who recently became radiography services manager, has been described as “a driving force in the development of radiography services” at the hospital. Ann Marie has worked at the hospital for twelve years and says she especially appreciates the recognition because it was her patients who initially nominated her for the award.
SCDA lotto draw
The numbers drawn this week were 1, 6, 23, and 24. There was no jackpot winner. There was one "Match Three" winner, Damian Parker, Curraghroe. The next draw on will take place on Tuesday, 27th November, 2018, at the SCDA Office on Bawn Street, Strokestown. The next jackpot is worth €670.
A Leitrim company, Cora Systems, which was recently named as Technology Exporter of the Year, is hoping to expand its workforce in the coming months. The company is based in Carrick-on-Shannon and provides software solutions and packages for some of the biggest companies and organisations in the world including Price, Waterhouse, Cooper and the UK’s NHS. The company was founded by Roscommon man, Philip Martin, in 1999 and also has offices in London and in Boston, Massachusetts. Susanne Kerins, head of marketing with Cora Systems says they are hoping to expand even further in 2019. The firm currently employs fifty people at its Carrick-on-Shannon office and fifteen people across its other offices, and says that because it is experiencing a growth period, it currently has fifteen vacancies open, many of which are based in its Carrick-on-Shannon office. The roles include a variety of technical jobs including project managers, business analysists, and software developers.
According to figures released by the Central Bank there are currently 976 households across the three counties with mortgage arrears of two-years or more. The figures show that 438 households in Co Roscommon, 250 in Longford, and 62 in Leitrim are in long-term mortgage arrears. A new Government approved ‘mortgage to rent’ provider aims to keep people who find themselves in difficulty, in their own homes. Under the initiative Home for Life can buy the distressed property and then lease it back to the home owner through the Local Authority. Home for Life CEO, Paul Cunningham says that helping families stay in their homes makes economic sense to avoid having people become homeless, as regardless of the location of the property, making a family homeless will create a housing need, and this should be avoided.
On Tuesday night, Sinn Fein TD for Sligo-Leitrim Martin Kenny, moved a bill to second stage in the Dail which is aimed at removing obstacles for people who can’t get planning to build one-off houses in rural areas. The amendment to the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977 empower local authorities to grant a waste water discharge license to people who want to build in circumstance where a percolation test has been failed. Deputy Kenny says this would move away from the zero-discharge rule which has prevented many people buildings houses in every part of rural Ireland in recent years. The Sinn Fein TD says it’s a small measure which could have a hugely positive effect in tackling rural de-population. He cited that in Leitrim, the changes to the rules would enable in the region of twenty-five to thirty-five houses a year be built, noting it would not be a free-for-all.
A woman, whose body was found in a house in Castlerea, has been named locally as Susan Seymore. The 66-year-old’s remains were found at her home at Carrowbehy on Thursday of last week, but it is understood she may have been dead for up to a month. Her body was removed to Roscommon University Hospital mortuary, and a post-mortem examination was conducted. A private cremation took place on Monday. In other news, the 57-year-old man, whose body was found in a lake near Loughglynn last week has been named as Micheál Waldron. The funeral mass of the man from Cloonfower, Castlerea was held in St Brigid’s Church, Cloonbonniffe, on Tuesday, and was followed by his burial afterwards in St Joseph’s Cemetery, Castlerea. It is understood that neither of the two incidents are being treated as suspicious.
McSharry on GLAS
Fianna Fáil TD for Sligo-Leitrim, Marc Mac Sharry, has called on the Agriculture Minister to ensure that all GLAS payments are made to farmers before Christmas. New information released this week reveals that almost 13% of farmers across the North West of the country are still waiting for their balancing payment to be made. The figure is highest in Donegal, where almost 20% of farmers have not received their final payment. Deputy MacSharry commented: “A total of 10,807 farmers across Donegal, Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon were eligible for payment under the 2017 GLAS scheme. However, 1,391 farmers are still waiting for the final 15% payment. This is disappointing as it is now mid-November, and Christmas is less than seven weeks away,” continuing to say: “GLAS payments form an integral part of farm incomes across the North West, and delays in payment can have an impact on cash flow for the business and for the family. Deputy McSharry called on the Minister to act: “I am calling on the Department of Agriculture to work through any of the administrative delays and ensure that farmers get the money they are owed as quickly as possible,” before concluding by saying: “We are now moving to a point where 2018 payments will soon start to be issued, and I think it would better for all concerned if the 2017 payments were closed off quickly.”
This week, Roscommon Civil Defence’s Water Unit was involved in the rescue of two vessels on the River Shannon. The first boat, which had two people onboard, lost power while approaching the lock gates at Rooskey. The vessel was drifting towards a collision with another boat which was marooned, with the crew having lost control of the vessel. The marooned vessel was on the buoy-line safety-barrier at the weir in Rooskey until the Civil Defence intervened. The boat was towed to safety and passengers were transported to Dromod. The second boat, which was marooned, was towed upstream to safe waters and the crew regained control of their vessel. Thankfully, there have been no reports of injuries from the incidents.
On Monday (26th November), works will begin to be carried out by Farrans Construction Ltd to upgrade the public water infrastructure between the R371/L-1415 junction and River Shannon Bridge in Rooskey. Irish Water will have commissioned the works and the company has advised it will take up to ten weeks to complete. In partnership with Roscommon County Council, Irish Water will replace 860 meters of aged cast iron pipes with plastic ones. The state agency says it’s expecting the replacements will be finalised by the end of January 2019 and works will be limited to short sections off pipe in order to minimise impact on customers and local residents.
The annual erecting of the Christmas lights is already underway in Strokestown, and the committee are making great progress this year, and are very thankful to several new volunteers who have lent a hand so far this year. The old adage that many hands make little work could not be relative than with Christmas lights in Strokestown. The group will be out again over the next couple of weekends putting up Christmas lights around Strokestown and are always happy for more volunteers to help out. If you are interested in helping, you can contact Mike Snype on (087) 913 2936 for details of where and when the group meet.
Bridge Street, Strokestown, Co Roscommon
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