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Category: Asset 8News & Views

Around Ireland

October 19, 2011

By Staff Reporter

Seán Gallagher has surged ahead as favorite in the presidential campaign.

CARLOW CAMPAIGN RAISES CASH FOR…PARKING?

Would-be president David Norris and his team felt the wrath of a plucky parking warden who was patrolling the mean streets of Carlow Town last week.

A Carlow Nationalist staffer saw the warden deftly hand out a ticket to David Norris’s campaign van. It wasn’t until a panicked member of Norris’s team pleaded with him that the warden relented somewhat. The campaign weren’t being cheapskates, the traffic warden was assured, they were just on a desperate hunt for some change for the parking meter.

Being a kind-hearted soul, the warden gave them one minute precisely to get their house in order and a flustered member of the campaign team made it back to the Norris vehicle clutching a ticket with just 10 seconds to spare. Phew!

Senator Norris was, at the time, on a walkabout greeting people of the town. Just the day before, another presidential candidate Seán Gallagher also landed in Carlow for an extended stay.

 

LIMERICK – MCCOURT CLASSIC IN IRISH

It may not sell in excess of six million copies like its English-language version, but it is hoped “Angela’s Ashes” in Irish will garner a new audience, the Limerick Leader reports.

Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, launched “Luaithreach Angela” in the Frank McCourt museum on Hartstonge Street this week, on the 15th anniversary of the publication of the book in New York.

Deenihan said “Angela’s Ashes” may not be as famous as James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” “but it is known throughout the world, and will be very popular with a lot of Irish teachers and pupils,” following the latest translation.

“It is very much a reflection of the language of Limerick and the social conditions at the time,” he said.

He was presented with a copy of the book signed by translator Padraic Breathnach, a retired lecturer from Mary Immaculate College. Dominic Taylor of the Limerick Writers’ Center said the project was undertaken soon after the death of McCourt two years ago.

Only a few hundred copies of the Irish translation will be printed initially. Copies will be flown to the United States for its New York launch next month.

CORK – FEAR OVER STATION CLOSURES

In a move that will most likely be emulated in other small towns and villages of County Cork, a widely representative group of people from Kilbrittain, vowed to resist any move to close their local Garda station, the Southern Star has reported.

They unanimously agreed to draw up a petition and invite all elected representatives for the area to a public meeting, provisionally fixed for Oct. 24 on the issue.

Garda Commissioner Martin Callinan has asked chief superintendents in every division to draw up a list of stations that could be closed as part of government cutbacks ahead of Budget 2011.

Most at risk are the 240 one-person Garda stations out of the total of more than 700 nationwide. The Star listed 23 that of those that category are in County Cork. Ballinspittle, Ballydehob, Baltimore, Glengarriff, Inchigeela, Kealkil and Stuake are among that category.

Various speakers argued strongly that Kibrittain and its extensive rural area and coastline between Timoleague and Garrettstown was excellently served by its Garda John McCarthy and the station, which incurred minimal running costs, estimated by one speaker at only €3,000 per annum.

 

MEATH – CANDIDATE HAS SEDATE STYLE

Meath Chronicle columnist Paul Murphy thought he would check what the old term “barnstorming” meant and if it applied to Michael D. Higgins’s presidential campaign. In the dictionary definition, it turns out, he would have to go around the countryside making political speeches, giving lectures or presenting theatrical performances. He would appear at county fairs and carnivals in exhibitions of stunt flying and parachute jumping.

“There was certainly no chance of that during his tour of Navan Town Center yesterday,” Murphy wrote of the 70-year-old candidate. “His style is so understated that he might easily be mistaken for a pensioner who had dropped into the center to buy his paper and do the Lotto.”

However, with news on Saturday that Sean Gallagher, the youngest candidate, had surged ahead, a new Higgins was unleashed at the forum in Dublin organized by the national youth organization SpunOut.ie.

Said Miriam Lord of the Irish Times: “Another day, another presidential forum. This one was interesting, because the audience voted before the discussion began and then again after the talking finished.”

She wrote the young people got a “glimpse of the missing Michael D. – the fiery speaker as opposed to non-threatening avuncular old buffer.” It seemed to have worked. This was the voting on the way in — Higgins: 29; David Norris: 25; Gallagher: 24; Martin McGuinness: 14; Mary Davis: 8. (Candidates Gay Mitchell and Dana did not attend.)

Afterwards, it was Higgins: 47; Norris: 19; McGuinness: 15; Gallagher: 14; Davis: 5.

Lord concluded: “Going by the youth forum, Gallagher’s camp should keep him smiling and meeting the people and away from debates. Higgins’s people will have to risk it and set free some of the real Michael D.”

 

WEXFORD – NO CARETAKER SO NO NIGHT CLASSES

The autumn night-class program offering 40 subjects at Enniscorthy Vocational College for the coming year has had to be scrapped because it is unable to replace a retiring caretaker. The €7 million college opened only a few months ago.

Principal Seamus Murphy said the current government moratorium on public sector job recruitment was a “significant contributing factor” in EVC’s decision.

“The moratorium makes it practically impossible to operate and maintain a school day from 8 a.m. until, at times, 10 p.m. Recent developments have resulted in an increase of approximately 250 percent in the area of the school, combined with a 50 percent reduction in out caretaking staffing levels.”

The school will review its night-classes policy in the spring.

 

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