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DUNDALK’S FREE NEWSPAPER Busy week in Oriel Park

More clarity needed for students

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Oliver celebrates 20 years on stage Page 10

Hope as vaccine rollout begins

Wednesday, 13th January, 2021. Vol. 14, Issue 2 • 63 Clanbrassil Street, Dundalk, Co. Louth

Tel: 042 9320888. Fax: 042 9329676. Email: editorial@dundalkleader.com; advertising@dundalkleader.com

By Paul Byrne

In a week where Ireland recorded the highest daily number of new confirmed Covid-19 cases in the world for every million people and one in every 43 people in Louth tested positive for the virus, some much needed hope arrived as the mammoth task of vaccination got underway. John Monaghan, an 85-yearold man from Hunterstown Ardee, became the first person in a Louth nursing home to be vaccinated against COVID-19 last Thursday and over the last number of days many of our frontline workers and people in care homes have been given their vaccinations too as hospitals continue to battle against rising Covid-19 cases. Continued on Page 2

Christmas Day to remember for aspiring garda Rory

Seven-year old Rory Bell enjoyed a Christmas Day he will never forget when the Garda uniform he got from Santa was delivered in person by three local Gardaí. Rory from Ardee wants nothing more than to be a Garda when he grows up and a brand new garda uniform was top of his wishlist when sending his letter to Santa. Full Story Page 7.

Hope as vaccine rollout begins Dundalk Leader 13th January 2021


From Page 1 by vaccinators at St John’s vaccine was Joseph’s Hospital, Arthe first Pfizer BioN- dee, Co Louth. Tech COVID-19 Vaccine to be administered Speaking last Thurs-

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day John said, “I feel very privileged to be the first person in St Joseph’s Hospital to receive the vaccine. Like everyone else I have been waiting for the vaccine. It’s a great relief that the vaccine is eventually here and it provides hope for us all, especially the vulnerable, that we will be safe from Covid-19 and that our lives will return to normal.” John was given a HSE vaccine information leaflet, along with more detailed manufacturer’s patient information leaflet, before getting the vaccine. Afterwards, each person vaccinated was given a vaccine

record card, showing return for their second the name and batch of dose, to be fully protectthe vaccine they have ed, in three weeks. received. They will each Sarah McBride, Chief

Officer of Midlands Louth Meath Community Healthcare Organisation said: “This is a day of hope for a better future. It is a good day for the residents and staff of St Joseph’s Hospital and we are delighted that we can start rolling out the vaccine for our community. I would particularly like to thank all of the healthcare workers in Midlands Louth Meath who worked tirelessly to make this day possible. I would also like to thank healthcare staff who have worked so hard at the frontline over the past year to protect our community from Covid-19 and support those who were affected by

the virus. While today does offer us hope for a better future, it is important that we continue to adhere with all of necessary guidelines to keep safe while the vaccine is being rolled out over the coming weeks and months. It is important to remember that by wearing a face covering, maintaining physical distancing and practising good hand hygiene, you’re supporting frontline workers to maintain essential health services for the people of Midlands Louth Meath.” Worldwide, vaccines save at least 2-3 million lives each year – and protect many more from crippling and lifelong

illnesses. Only COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorised by the European Medicines Agency, having met stringent safety and effectiveness standards, will be used in Ireland. All COVID-19 vaccines will be carefully monitored over time and updated safety data and information will be published and shared by the HSE, on our website and in our printed information materials. Everyone can find factual, up-to-date information, based on scientific evidence on: w w w. h s e . i e / c o v i d 19vaccine
www.gov.ie/ covid19vaccine 
www. hpra.ie 

our hospitals. According to Maurice tired nurses have been working extra hours covering shifts with staff numbers depleted due to a number of COVID-19 cases within the hospital. A number of other problems are also affecting nurses according to Maurice including worries about safety at work, childcare issues and fatigue. Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda

is compounding the difficulties,” he said. “This is a health and safety issue. We want practical policies to ensure staff are kept as safe as possible and there are no unnecessary risks.” The number of patients with Covid-19 in hospitals has increased to 1,700, according to HSE CEO Paul Reid. There are 143 patients with Covid-19 in ICUs, with over half of these on ventilators.

Mr Sheehan added: “We need a flexibility by management to ensure safety is prioritised and that includes rapidly vaccinating staff. “We need protocols for the ability to adopt safety measures as the pandemic escalates. We need to plan regarding the fallout from decreasing staff levels which is an issue at the moment. “Childcare is also a huge issue for staff at the moment. Staff

should be supported. We are very concerned that members with long term Covid-19 illness get the back-up they deserve.” He concluded: “Health and safety issues are always emerging and its important policies on health and safety are communicated to staff for example pregnant healthcare workers are high risk and should be working from home,” added Maurice.

John Monaghan is the first person in a Louth nursing home to be vaccinated.

Under pressure nurses need help say INMO By Tamara O’Connell

As the health service continues to creak under the weight of rising Covid-19 numbers the local INMO (Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation) representative Maurice Sheehan has outlined the difficulties under pressure nurses are currently dealing with in

currently has 109 Covid-19 patients, more than double the number of patients being treated last week, according to the latest Health Service Executive (HSE) figures. Maurice Sheehan insists that there’s “fatigue” amongst staff during the third wave of Covid-19. “Many staff are off work due to Covid-19 or because they are close contacts and this

Calls for older people to join New Technology Panel A new Living Lab Panel is being set up, by NetwellCASALA, to give the people most impacted by services and technologies a direct input in how these are designed and developed. The NetwellCASALA team at Dundalk Institute of Technology (DkIT) have worked for over a decade to make Louth the most age-friendly county in Ireland. Through its Living Lab and Research activities, NetwellCASALA develops new technologies aimed at helping people live independently in their own homes for longer. Older people in the community and those who care for them, are invited to join the new Living Lab panel. Throughout the year, Panel members may be invited to join in activities

such as: trying out health or wellbeing technologies such as apps; sharing opinions about design features; or giving suggestions and feedback about new products or ideas. ‘With the current push to find technologies to support longer living, it has never been more important that people have a say in what is designed for them,’ Suzanne Smith, manager of the Living Lab. To find out more about becoming a member of the NetwellCASALA Living Lab Panel call Breda Connor or Suzanne Smith at 042 9370497, email breda.connor@dkit.ie or find the NetwellCASALA Living Lab at www.netwellcasala.org.

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Dundalk Leader 13th January 2021


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Border Communities Against Brexit welcome agreement The Border Communities Against Brexit have welcomed the recent announcement of a Brexit deal celebrating the fact that there will not be a physical border on the island anytime soon. The group had vigorously campaigned to stop that from happening highlighting the massive issues a border would bring to their communities. A spokesperson for the group welcomed the Brexit deal stating that huge economic damage has been avoided for border communities especially. “We now have a Brexit Deal, but more importantly we now have the Irish Protocol. We are ordinary people from all walks of life who came together to campaign to highlight to those people living in Border Communities about the massive risk to our futures. “Apart from the very significant economic damage this would have caused, the huge disruption to those of us living in Border Communities; our communities would have been forced to navigate through a handful of open border routes, it would without any doubt have brought about the substantial risk of violence towards new border infrastructure. This would absolutely have had very serious consequences for the most precious thing on this Island, Our Peace Process. Peace under the architecture of the Good Friday Agreement has been the solid foundation of our society for the past 20 years, it has brought so much economic and societal benefits, without it our Island would most definitely have taken a substantial backward step. A special thank-you to the Task Force under the leadership of an amazingly patient gentleman Michel Barnier, also to the leader of the Commission Ursula Yon der Leyen, her predecessor Donald Tusk, to the former Brexit Coordinator Guy Verholfstadt, each current and former members of the Brexit Steering Group. “Thank you to the efforts of the Taoiseach, Tánaiste and Foreign Minister, to the Deputy first Minister alongside the leaders of the SDLP and Alliance. Crucially without the direct assistance of Marian Harkin, Matt Carthy and Martina Anderson when MEP’s we could not have travelled to Europe as often as we did. International support was also vital, especially the Irish Caucus, but specifically the unwavering support of Speaker Pelosi, and Richard Neal, this was critical, Thank you,” concluded the statement.

Dundalk Leader 13th January 2021

Busy week at Oriel Park in the off-season

It may be the off season but rarely have things been so busy up in Oriel Park with a number of new signings announced as well as a few goodbyes to a couple of club legends. Last Tuesday came the news all Dundalk fans had been waiting for when it was officially announced that star player Michael Duffy had put pen to paper meaning he will be plying his trade for the Lilywhites for at least one more season. Hot on the heels of that news came the signing of 24-yearold Albanian goalkeeper Alessio Abibi who was drafted in to replace Gary Rogers who announced his retirement last month. Alessio was born in Italy and was scouted by Dun-

Jordan Flores.

dalk manager Filippo Giovagnoli who told the club’s website that he was really impressed with the 24-year old. “Alessio was one of the goalkeepers that I studied and scouted and

of them all, he was the one with the best characteristics of how we want to play,” said Lilywhites head coach Filippo Giovagnoli. “He is big, really good in the air, strong on de-

fensive set-pieces, brave and good on the ball in the build-up. He is also young, only 24, and is a player that we can develop. He has a brilliant future ahead of him,” stated Filippo. The popular centre back Brian Gartland also put pen to paper this week with the 34 year old club legend signing a one year deal much to the delight of Dundalk fans. Gartland has been a huge fan favourite since joining the club in 2013 and he will be looking to add to the five titles he has already won with Dundalk. Dundalk’s new Director of Football Jim Magilton has not been confined to these shores when searching for new talent and this week he announced the

signing of two internationals with Latvian full back Raivis Andris Jurkovskis coming in to help fill the massive void left following the departures of Sean Gannon to Shamrock Rovers and Dane Massey to Drogheda. Magilton also finalised a deal with Faroes Island 6ft 6 international defender Sonni Ragnar Nattestad who previously played with B36 Torshavin. And finally there was a homecoming of sorts for local man Stephen McDonnell who was announced as the club’s new full-time academy manager. Stephen played for the Lilywhites for three years between 2010 and 2013 making 61 appearances for the club. Meanwhile Dundalk midfielder Jordan Flores

who is strongly rumoured to be leaving the club in the coming days for League One side Hull City left a parting gift to the town with a very generous donation of €1800 which went to the Maria Goretti Foundation in Lordship. The talented midfielder auctioned his recent FAI Cup final winners medal with the closing bid rising to a very impressive €1800. Jordan thanked all who bid and thanked all who helped get the auction up and running. “Closed on €1800! An unbelievable amount, thanks to everyone who bid and congrats to the winner. Thanks to the Foods Mcloughlin Cup for sorting this out for The Maria Goretti Foundation,” stated Jordan.

Third place finish for St Vincent’s young scientists

Alannah Voigt and Sarah Carey from St Vincent’s Secondary School finished in third place overall in the Chemical, Physical & Mathematical Intermediate Group at this year’s BT Young Scientist’s Exhibition. The duos project was titled ‘An investigation into the effects of combined heated air currents of different temperature on the flight dynamics on a badminton shuttlecock’. Seventeen-year old Gregory Tarr, a sixth year student from Bandon Grammar School in Co Cork won the top prize for his project entitled “Towards detecting state-of-the-art

deepfakes”. St Vincent’s Secondary school sent their congratulations to all the participants from the school for all the hard work they put into their projects. “Huge congratulations to Alannah Voigt and Sarah Carey who placed 3rd in the Category Award, Intermediate Group in Chemical, Physical and Mathematical Sciences at the 2021 BT Young Scientist Competition. This is an excellent achievement. Congratulations also to Ciara Gorham,Molly Murphy, Eithne Kelly, Isabella Callanan, Kayla Darby and Aoife McQuillan on reaching the finals out of 2000

projects entered. We are immensely proud of the hard work all the girls have put into their projects over the last few months. Special thanks and congratulations to their teacher Mr White who has worked so hard to support all of the girls. Well done to all.” The organisers of the BT Young Scientists Exhibition have announced that there is free access to the #BTYSTE 2021 portal content until the END of January. You can view the all the shows, interviews and student projects everything on the portal from the safety of your home at portal. btyoungscientist.com.

Alannah Voigt and Sarah Carey St Vincents Young Scientists Badminton.

Break rooms and lunch areas of concern for spread of COVID-19 in the North East The Department of Public Health NorthEast is urging all staff and essential services that remain open during the Level 5 restrictions to wear face masks in communal areas, such as break rooms, kitchens, changing areas to help prevent COVID-19 transmission among colleagues. Dr Peter Finnegan, Specialist in Public Health Medicine in the North East said: “Our team is managing a number of occurrences of COVID-19 in the workplace, including a number of outbreaks.

In some businesses, we are seeing staff congregating at break-time, or employees working in close proximity in poorly ventilated areas and some not wearing a mask when in close contact with other staff members. This can and does lead to outbreaks.” “We are also seeing the use of visors in lieu of masks in workplaces. Visors alone offer less protection to staff and customers, and while they do reduce exposure to droplets to a certain extent if worn properly, cloth masks are far more effective.”

“We appreciate that there are circumstances where people do resort to visors. This can include people with breathing difficulties; people who are unable to remove masks/face coverings without help; in settings where people who have learning difficulties or who are hard of hearing or deaf are present.” At workplaces across the region, break rooms that are often small indoor spaces have been linked to the spread of Covid-19. According to provisional data reported to the Department

of Public Health North East, there have been 388 COVID-19 cases linked to 57 workplace outbreaks in the North East region thus far. Please note that this data excludes hospitals, nursing homes and longterm residential facilities which each fall under different classifications. Dr Finnegan said: “When colleagues take their mask off and socialise, they are letting their guard down. If you are having your break, that could be 15-30 minutes that you are face to face with someone, talking, chatting and ex-

changing droplets.” Dr Augustine Pereira, Director of Public Health North East, said: “We need to break some of our break time habits of eating and socialising with others. By keeping communal areas clean and well ventilated, wearing a mask until you are ready to eat, adhering to social distance guidance by keeping 2 metres apart and limiting the number of staff allowed in these areas, we would be limiting further transmission of COVID-19.” “The next layer of mitigation, which may be less

obvious, is that we are encouraging colleagues not to be afraid to remind others to put their mask on.” The most important action we can take to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19 is to follow the public health advice: - ensure regular hand washing, - practice good respiratory hygiene, - keep two metres between yourself and other people, - avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth, - wear a mask, - and download the COVID Tracker App.

Dundalk Leader 13th January 2021


Dundalk Leader 13th January 2021


Government need to give more clarity to students says local teacher 1—What name is given to a group of bats? 2—What month did the general election take place in Ireland in 2020? 3—Name Disney’s first ever film? 4—Which Central American country has a name which translates to English as “The Saviour”? 5—Who was elected as Ireland’s first President in 1938? 6—Who wrote Gulliver’s Travels? 7—Who made appearances in Zoolander, The Little Rascals, Home Alone 2, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and The Nanny. 8—In Connacht,

which county does not have a coastline? 9—W.B Yeats was born in which century? 10—What currency is used in South Africa? Stinker—Which country owns the most islands in the world.

—this week’s answers—

A local teacher has urged the government to let students know exactly what is happening with regards to Leaving Certificate exams as soon as possible. Leanne Muckian who runs the Dundalk Study Academy with her colleague Monique Bryson Clarke believes the government have been sending out too many mixed messages over the last number of months and says that students are worried and concerned about the uncertainty which lies ahead in relation to the Leaving Certificate. Last week the Minister for Education Norma Foley announced that all schools would be closed but Leaving Cert students would still attend classes for three days each week. However, the government were forced into a U-turn after the ASTI (Association of Secondary Teachers in Ireland) instructed their members not to attend classes this week. Leaving Cert students will now study remotely until at

Leanne Muckian. least January 31st. According to Leanne these mixed messages have proved unhelpful and uncertainty is the biggest feeling amongst students that she is in regular contact with. “It is so tough on students as they are kind of in the dark with regards to what kind of exam they will be sitting this year. They are supposed to be starting their mock exams in early February which is only a few weeks away yet

we are still not sure if these will be going ahead. It’s even tougher for this year’s batch of Leaving Cert students as this is the second year where they have had disruptions having missed out on many classes during fifth year as well. “Obviously as teachers we recognise that hard decisions have had to be made by the government and that so many people have so many different opinions as to what the correct course of action is but I personally

feel that there have been too many mixed messages coming from government buildings and not enough clarity. Nothing can compare to getting taught in a classroom but obviously that option is not available to us right now. As a business we decided even before the government announcement that we were not going to stay open as we are hearing from the students that they are worried about bringing the virus into their homes where many of them have family with underlying conditions. I know the vast majority of the students would prefer to be able to sit down in June and sit the traditional Leaving Certificate rather than have to use the calculated grades system but as I said before there is no easy answer and we just have to wait and see what comes down the tracks. What we need right now is some clear guidelines and a plan of action from the government as soon as possible,” stated Leanne.

Unusual device found in Blackrock

THE discovery of an unusual device led to the closure of the Blackrock Road on the afternoon of Sunday, January 10. The road in Dundalk was closed for a time after Gardaí were alerted to an unusual device inside a field near a GAA pitch on the Blackrock Road. As a precaution, the army bomb disposal team attended the scene. The device was found not to be viable and was taken away by the Army for a controlled explosion and it will be handed back to An Garda Síochána for further investigations. The road was reopened on the evening of Sunday, January 10.

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1—Cauldron of bats, 2—February, 3—Snow White in 1937, 4—El Salvador, 5—Douglas Hyde, 6—Jonathan Swift, 7—Donald Trump, 8—County Roscommon, 9—19th (He was born in 1865), 10—Rand. The Stinker: Sweden with over 260,000.

recent deaths

Liam REILLY The Old Library, Predeceased by her parents family relatives, friends and parents John and Rose (late Jimmy BYRNE Ravensdale raig and all her other relatives, in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces, Chapel Street, Dundalk, Louth. Maura and Paul, sisters Olive, neighbours. of St. Clements Park), broth- Park, Dundalk, Louth. Peace- neighbours and friends. nephews, neighbours, relaPassed away suddenly but Elaine and Majella. Briege will Rory CORMICAN Fairgreen, ers Richard and Jackie, sister fully in Our Lady of Lourdes Patrick McKenna Towns- tives and friends. peacefully at his residence. be sadly missed and remem- Dundalk, Louth. Suddenly at Margaret, Tommy dear dad of Hospital. 3rd January 2020. park, Ardee, Louth/Cavan. Briege GONNELLY WoodPredeceased by his dad Willie. bered with love by her hus- home 4th January 2021. Rory Anthony, Lilian and Suzanne. Jimmy beloved husband of Peacefully in the care of the view Park and formerly of Liam will be sadly missed by band, children, their partners son of the late Tom and Ria, He will be sadly missed with the late Sheila, dear father of Staff in the Louth County Hos- Boyle O`Reilly Terrace, Dunhis loving mum Teresa, sisters Ciara & Michéal, grandchil- beloved husband of Adrienne love by his son, daughters, James, Gary, Kieran, and Col- pital, Dundalk. Beloved hus- dalk, Louth. In the loving care Evelyn, Barbara, Darina and dren Éabha & Thomas, best née O’Reilly, and dear brother brothers Paddy, Kevin, Gerry, in, grandad of Seamus, Paul, band of the late Monica (nee of Our Lady of Lourdes HospiPaula, brothers in-law Pat and friends Joe, Cora & Kathleen, of Niall (Dublin), Fiona (Leix- sister Mary, daughter in-law Jane, Sinead, Katie, Leah, Sullivan), much loved father tal. Beloved mum of BernaEamon, nephews and nieces sisters Mary, Pauline, Marcia & lip), Rhona (Kent), Aoife (Dub- Moria, sons in-law Gerry Shaun-Paul, Molly and the of Tony, daughter-in-law dette and Joseph and dear Órla, Liam, Alanna, Charlie Loretta, brothers Paul, Leo, lin), Conor (Kent), Siobhán Smith and Kieran Mc Kay, late Ryan, great-granddad of Elaine, his grandchildren Jes- nanny of Kirstyn and Aimee. and Andrew, uncle Bertie, Gerard & Anthony, sisters-in- (Kent), Ultan (Clare) and Fin- grandchildren, great-grand- Alex and Tom and brother of sica, Sophie and Stuart, his Predeceased by her parents aunts Ann and Ita. Gavin and law, brothers-in-law, nieces, tan (Dundalk), son-in-law of children, extended family, Gerad, Phil, Marie, and the sister Marie (Cavan), his broth- Paddy and Catherine (late of all his cousins, extended fam- nephews extended family, Clare O’ Reilly (Navan), Rory relatives, friends and neigh- late Barbara, Eamonn and Liz. ers Seán and Harry (Cavan), Mary St. North), brothers Tom, ily, relatives, neighbours and neighbours, friends and by all will be sadly missed by his bours. Jimmy will be sadly missed by brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, Martin, Pat and sister Margawonderful friends. who knew and cherished her. wife, brothers, sisters, moth- Kevin BERRILL Church View, his sons, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, neighbours, ret Kelly, brother in-law Tom Briege Murtagh Gillespie, Ellen McDERMOTT (née er-in-law, nephews, nieces, Dromiskin, Louth. Peacefully, great-grandchildren, son-in- relatives and friends. Murphy, sister in-law Eilish. (Bernie) Briege will be sadly missed by Ballindrait, Bunbeg, Donegal/ McKevitt), Jenkinstown, Dun- relatives, and friends. in the gentle care of the staff law Juan, daughters-in-law Bernadet te Dromiskin, Louth. The peace- dalk, Louth. Peacefully, in her Joe DUFFY O’Hanlon Park, of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospi- Frances, Ashley and Eimear, O’CONNOR (née Flanagan), her loving daughter, son, ful death has taken place in 98th year, in the gentle care of Dundalk, Louth. Peacefully tal, Drogheda, after a short brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, Bellewsbridge Road, Dun- grandchildren, brothers DerÁras Ghaoth Dobhair of Briege the staff of Our Lady of Lour- surrounded by his family in illness. Beloved husband of nephews, nieces, relatives, dalk, Louth. Predeceased by mot and Anthony, sisters her sons John, Desmond and Noeleen and Marian, brothMurtagh Gillespie, Ballindrait, des Hospital, Drogheda. Be- the loving care of Our Lady of Carmel (nee Mulligan) and and friends. Bunbeg and formerly of loved wife of the late Josie, Lourdes Hospital. Beloved dear dad of Michelle, Karen, Paddy Fanning An Slí, Tobe- Aidan (in-infancy), grand- ers and sisters in-law, extendDromiskin, Co. Louth. Prede- daughter of the late Laurence husband of Annie and dear Gillian, Donna and Emma. He rona, Bellewsbridge, Dundalk, daughter Lara. She will be ed family, relatives, friends ceased by her son Ruairí. Sad- and Margaret and sister of the dad of Thomas and Francie. will be sadly missed by his Louth / Trim, Meath. Peace- sadly missed by her loving and neighbours. ly missed by her loving hus- late Michael, Laurence, Kevin, He will be sadly missed by his sorrowing wife, daughters, fully at his residence. Beloved family, husband Aidan, sons Michael Mickey Bates late band Cormac, her daughters; Patsy, Francie, Nan and Kitty. loving wife, sons, daughter in- sons-in-law Fred, Noel, Martin brother of the late Carmel Mark, David, Keith, Stephen of Seafield Lawns and Wolfe Aisling and Éadaoin, her son, She will be sadly missed by law Susan, grandchildren and Barry, grandchildren Na- (Peppard) and brother in law and Ryan, daughters Susan, Tone Terrace, Dundalk, Louth. Cormac Ivan, her sister Eileen, her sister-in-law Nora, neph- Sharon, Michael, Caroline, dine, Ciara, Daryl, Naomi, Ci- of the late Barney. Sadly Barbara and Emma, grand- Peacefully after a long illness her brothers; Thomas, Larry ews, nieces, relatives and Grainne, Maire and Aoife, aran, Megan, Karli, Craig, missed by all his friends and children, sisters Briege, Laura in the kind and gentle care of great-grandchildren Katie, Abby, Conor, Caylan, Molly, staff of the St. John of God and Doreen, extended family, the staff at St Joseph’s Hospiand Paddy, grandchildren friends. relatives, friends and neigh- tal Ardee. Cherished father of Christopher, Ruairí, Stephen, Gerard DAWE Castletown Hazel and Jaxon, his life-long Jade and Alex, great-grand- Community. Thomas and Bobby and all Road, Dundalk, Louth. Sud- friend Des Kearney, extended children Alex, Cassie, Layla, Maud O’HANLON Paul & Aaron. Mickey will be (née bours. denly at his residence, for- family, relatives, friends and Eabha-Mae and Lexi, brothers O’Hare), Bavan, Omeath, Pauline Marley (née Camp- sadly missed and rememher extended family. Briege McGeeney (née Mar- merly of Quay Street. Prede- neighbours. Castlebellingham, bered with love by his sons, Seán, Aidan and Derek and Louth. Peacefully in the ten- bell), tin), Lannett, Inniskeen, Mon- ceased by his parents Kevin Tommy CALLAN formerly of sisters Ann, Rosemary, Rita, der care of staff at Carlingford Louth. Peacefully at home, their mother Roisín, grandaghan / Dundalk, Louth. Late and Anna (late of Cluan Enda). Ceadarwood Park, Dundalk, Jean, Irene and Linda. Prede- Nursing Home. Predeceased surrounded by her loving children Emma, Jennifer & of Fatima Drive, Dundalk. He will be sadly missed by his Louth. Peacefully, in the love ceased by his parents Kath- by her beloved husband family. Predeceased by her Erin, daughter-in-law Elaine, Peacefully at home in the brother Thomas, sisters Cath- and tender care of Suaimh- leen and Michael, brother Michael. Very deeply regret- sister Nora. Pauline will be Paul’s partner Catherine, presence of her loving family. erine Donnelly, Ann Dawe, neas House, Moorehall Lodge, Francis, sister Kay, grandsons ted by her loving son Michael, sadly missed by her husband brothers Arthur & Thomas, Beloved wife of Gerard and Patricia Lynch and Elizabeth Ardee, surrounded by his lov- Shane and Stephen, nephew sister Bridget Moriarty, nieces Brendan, sister Doreen and all sisters Mona Meehan & Ita cherished mother of Ciaran, Anderson, brothers-in-law, ing family. Predeceased by Darren and stepfather Eu- Lisa, Kathy and Mary, neph- her children, grandchildren, Donnelly, extended family, Geraldine, Eugene & Michael. nephews, nieces, extended his wife Rose (née Mc Keever), gene Corrigan, ews Gregory, Owen and Pad- daughters-in-law, brothers- neighbours & friends.

Dundalk Leader 13th January 2021


Christmas Day to remember for aspiring garda Rory Seven-year old Rory Bell enjoyed a Christmas Day he will never forget when the Garda uniform he got from Santa was delivered in person by three local Gardaí. Rory from Ardee wants nothing more than to be a Garda when he grows up and a brand new garda uniform was top of his wishlist when sending his letter to Santa. According to Rory’s mother Emma her son was the proudest child in the world on Christmas morning when he got the chance to put on his uniform after receiving it via special delivery from Garda Smyth, Garda Keenan and Garda Ní Dhochartaigh. “For the past seven or eight months Rory has become really obsessed with the Gardaí and whenever we are walking down the street he will always give a big hello to any Garda he sees walking

Rory Bell on duty alongside Garda Smyth, Garda Keenan and Garda Ní Dhochartaigh. by,” explained Emma. “He got it into his head that he wanted to get a garda uniform for Christmas and that’s when we started to set the wheels in motion. We got in touch with the organisation Garda Little Heroes which helps out sick kids and they pointed us in the direction of Mermaids and Dragons who sorted us out. “I rang the local Garda station in Ardee

to see if they could help out with the delivery of the new uniform and they were very good and told me they would send somebody around on Christmas morning. Three gardaí arrived at 7:30am on Christmas morning and I went outside to meet them while Rory was opening the rest his presents. I gave them the uniform and then went back inside. They drove down the

road and then came back a couple of minutes later with the sirens on and stopped outside our house. I’m sure our neighbours must have been wondering what on earth was going on,” laughs Emma. “Anyway, Rory came out and the three Gardaí handed over his uniform to him which resulted in him nearly bursting with happiness. He ran in-

“Too soon to discuss calculated grades” states Sharkey

DUNDALK secondary school principal Thomas Sharkey has said it’s too soon to discuss calculated grades for Leaving Certificate students. “It is too soon to discuss calculated grades. There is a lot of course content still being taught and students are busy learning it,” he said. The Principal of Coláiste Chú Chulainn made his comments after the National Council of Parents called for Leaving Certificate students to be offered the choice to opt for predictive grades or sit their exams in June. Meanwhile, Mr Sharkey said: “Coláiste Chú Chulainn was prepared to receive all 6th

“We have a modern building with small classes, excellent safety protocols and a diligent staff. “We engaged with a Covid-19 inspection from the Department of Education as a pilot project and were exceptional in all our practices.” Mr Sharkey added: “However, when the minister then advised that all schools were to remain closed for all students until 1st February, we initiated our online learning plan. “All of our students are learning via TEAMS - a Microsoft Thomas Sharkey. Office platform. All students Year students three days per have five free licences for Miweek as instructed by the Min- crosoft Office attached to their school emails.” ister for Education.

Town and Village Renewal Scheme

Louth will receive funding of €376,050 for projects under the Village Renewal Scheme with Dromiskin, Carlingford, Stabannon and Blackrock the beneficiaries under the latest raft of funding. Carlingford has received funding of

€100,000 repair of the medieval boundary wall at Carlingford Heritage Centre and refurbishment of the public toilets in the village. Blackrock has received €100,000 for improvements to footpaths along Rock Road and addition of

a looped walkway. Dromiskin has received €100,00 for the Development of a looped footpath with associated works and lighting. Meanwhile Stabannon has received €76,050 for the provision of footpaths and lighting in the

village. The funding, allocated under the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, is a key part of the Action Plan for Rural Development and the Government’s Project Ireland 2040 Programme for Rural Regeneration.

side to put it on and then came out to get a couple of photos with the Gardaí. “He has been busy patrolling the street since Christmas and has even given a ticket to his grandad for parking violations!. The Gardaí have been so good to Rory and they have promised to take him out on patrol around the town when it is safe to do so,” added Emma.

Ádh mór oraibh go léir,


Dundalk Leader 13th January 2021

Schools across Louth preparing to roll out remote classes again As the prospect of an extended school closure becomes likely, schools across Louth are preparing to teach remotely once again. Louth Meath Education & Training Board are confident that it’s local schools, Coláiste Chú Culainn, Faughart CNS, Bush Post Primary and Ó Fiaich College will once again be up to the task. LMETB are also patrons to Scoil Uí Mhuirí in Dunleer and St Olivers Community College in Drogheda. Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed the government is looking at school closures “being extended to the end of the month.” LMETB has been monitoring the situation and preparing for remote schooling. Local Principal in Coláiste Chú Chulainn, Thomas Sharkey stated: “We know that our schools are very safe places for young people. If the pandemic means schools must close, we are ready to take learning online once again. Students and staff worked hard up to Christmas. We want that hard work to continue but in a safe way that helps us all get get to a pandemic free society as soon as possible. Our school’s stu-

dents benefit from Office 365 accounts which include email, Teams, One Drive and all Microsoft Office software. ” Chairman, Wayne Harding said he had been in contact with the Chief Executive Martin O’Brien and LMETB are monitoring the ongoing announcements by both the National Public Health Emergency Team and The Department of Education and Skills. “Chief Executive Martin O’Brien and the Director of schools Ms Fiona Kinlon are in contact with principals in both Louth and Meath and we are confident that our schools will adhere to all guidelines set down by the Minister of Education Norma Foley. The same will apply to guidelines from Minister Simon Harris TD in relation to our further education and training centres. “All staff within LMETB have demonstrated since last March our capacity to teach all students both remotely and in person. The Chief Executive and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all staff involved for their hard work, dedication and professionalism

in maintaining continuity of learning opportunity for all our students and learners. “We take this opportunity to compliment all students and learners who have adapted fantastically to the changes that have had to occur since the outbreak of Covid-19 and for embracing the learning opportunities presented. “Parents, guardians and extended family members have provided very valuable support to their children, our students and we really appreciate this support. Know that each and every one of you have played a valuable role, made a difference and enhanced the learning process for both students and teachers”. Cllr Harding acknowledged the support of parents as well as the Department of Education in providing additional funding which has made a huge difference in providing guidance/ support for all in LMETB. “I take this opportunity to assure both our Ministers and their officials that LMETB are taking our responsibility seriously and sticking to guidance provided to the letter.”

New Covid measures brought in by Gardaí An Garda Síochána have introduced a range of additional measures to support the Government’s Level 5 Plan for Living with COVID-19 as announced last Wednesday. The measures announced include: Additional static checkpoints on national routes under Operation Fanacht. and additional re-deployment of Gardaí to the front-line 
 An Garda Síochána have recommenced static checkpoints under Operation Fanacht from last Thursday. These will be on national routes (not motorways) supported by random local mobile checkpoints designed to support the Stay Home/ Stay Safe message. An Garda Síochána will also be engaged in high visibility patrolling of key locations such as public amenities, scenic areas and parks. An Garda Síochána will continue to investigate any alleged breach-

Gardaí getting tough on people who breach Covid rules

es of Public Health regulations under Operation Navigation (Licensed Premises) and Operation Treoraim (Non Essential Retail). Where members of the public are concerned about these activities they can contact their local Garda station. An Garda Síochána plan to help victims of domestic abuse incidents, including coercive control and they will continue to receive highest priority response for service under Operation Faoiseamh.

Travel restrictions DO NOT APPLY in the case of domestic violence. Some Court outcomes of previous Garda enforcement activity are highlighted below: • Co. Kildare, Male found in breach of travel restrictions without reasonable excuse, €250 fine following appeal 
• • Co Dublin, Male in breach of Covid Regulations directed to return home, observed still in breach of regulations at same location 2 hours later, €350 fine 

• Co Meath, 2 males in breach of Health Regulations at a Domestic house, both €1000 fine
 • Co. Dublin, Male found in breach of travel restrictions without reasonable excuse, 30 days imprisonment 
 • Co. Leitrim, Male found in Breach of travel restrictions without reasonable excuse, 2 months Imprisonment
 • Co. Meath, Female found in breach of travel restrictions without reasonable excuse, nonresident at property, 4 months imprisonment

Louth GAA ‘12K’s of Christmas’ Draw

Odhran Thornton receives a cheq ue for €1000 on behalf of Odhran Thornton Jnr outside the Cooley Kickhams club rooms. Also pictured is Kevin Smy th.

John and Jimmy Goss (Ballymakellet) receive their cheque

Carl Tracey (Blackrock) receives a cheque for €1000 on behalf of his wife Caroline Connolly, a winner in the ‘12K’s of Christmas’ .

Niall Lynch (Centra-Tullyallen) rece

ives a cheque for €1000

Davy McDonnell (Drogheda Institute of Further Education) receives a cheque for €1000.

Dundalk Leader 13th January 2021

letters to the editor Tom thanks frontline staff Dear Editor, Just a few short lines to the different government Departments, The Chief Medical Officer, his adversaries and the entire teams involved in the battle to wipe out this virus. All involved have stepped into the front line of fire to defeat this deadly plague, and put their lives at risk and sadly team members and patients have passed away leaving families and individuals deeply saddened by their loss. The teams still push on in their efforts to rid this scourge from our country. There are no words good enough to Thank all involved for their heroic efforts. The Government Finance Department should set up a Covid fund for people to subscribe to. I believe the Motor Insurance companies are giving a refund for the lockdown period so maybe motorists could pass this on. In the event of another outbreak there would be extra funding rightly deserved to support the team for their effort supreme. Finally: “Live with Care of Covid 19 Beware for Life has no spare” “May the rising tide lift Ireland’s Boat” “May Covid 19 go under and never again re-float Best Regards Tom Kerr, Dundalk.

Supports for people with heart issues The Irish Heart Foundation is urging the estimated 2,700 people living with heart failure in Louth to engage with new supports it has established during Covid-19 restrictions. The charity has responded to a sense of isolation felt by people living with heart failure, a condition which has a lower survival rate than many cancers. Heart failure or heart inefficiency occurs when the organ is not working as well as it should and does not pump blood around the body efficiently. With almost 300 new cases every year in Louth, the Foundation’s new support service will help thousands of people nation-

wide to live normal, full and active lives with their condition. It has launched a range of supports, including online groups and a podcast presented by retired RTE presenter Michael Lyster, who has experienced heart failure. “Patients with heart failure and other cardiac conditions have real fears and a sense of isolation during the current climate of escalating Covid cases,” said Lucinda McNerney, Heart Failure Programme Manager. “The supports, which include our new podcast series, Nurse Support Line, new heart failure web page, Heart Support Network, online meetings, daily ex-

ercise on Facebook and peer to peer support, will help patients and their families to keep well at home both physically and mentally. “The IHF support service allows people to access regular information sessions on topics such as medication, lifestyle changes, self-management and diet. “They will be provided by healthcare professionals who work in the area of heart failure, including Norma Caples, National Nurse Lead for the Heart Failure Programme in Ireland.” One man who knows all about heart failure is Liam Rossiter, 54, who is one of approximately 90,000 people living with the

condition in Ireland. He fell ill in 2017 and put his symptoms down to a lack of exercise and travelling long distances to visit his hospitalised father. But when his breathing deteriorated and he began to turn blue, he needed hospital care himself and had to have fluid drained from his heart. “I was brought to a CATH lab and during that procedure (draining of fluid) it stopped, although with a shot of adrenaline they got me going again,” said the avid cyclist from Dungarvan in Co Waterford. “Ultimately, it turned out I had developed a virus sometime in

2017, a bit like a flu and it got to my heart and damaged the left ventricle, which is the pumping side of the heart.” Now Liam is encouraging people in a similar situation to engage with the new supports being set up by the Irish Heart Foundation. He says that an IHF support group, which he still attends four years on, offers him vital reassurance and advice after the “scary diagnosis”. Heart failure imposes a considerable cost on Ireland, estimated to be €660million, which includes €158 million to the HSE and the costs of premature deaths, which is approximately €502 million.

Dundalk Stadium extends sponsorship with Hollywoodbets

Dundalk Stadium have extended their sponsorship with Hollywoodbets for another 3 months to 31 March 2021, which will cover all 17 Dundalk race meetings from January to March 2021. Included in this sponsorship will be the naming rights for races during the period, as well as the feature race meeting scheduled for 5 March 2021, where the headline event is the listed Patton Stakes. Quote from Jim Martin, CEO Dundalk Stadium. “We are delighted that Hollywoodbets has decided to extend

its sponsorship here at Dundalk Stadium. We believe the partnership has been fantastic and we are thankful for their continued support of Irish Racing.” Hollywoodbets, the South African based Horse Racing and Sports Betting operator, recently licensed its brand to operations in the United Kingdom and Ireland and got its footing in the Emerald Isle by partnering with the all-weather racecourse. Included in the sponsorship is the Hollywoodbets Punters Challenge, which allows the public to test their

tipping talents on each one of the 17 Dundalk race meetings, with a €300 prize pot up for grabs at every meeting (a total €5 100 over the 3 months). Taking part in the competition is free, with an active Hollywoodbets account being the only requirement for entry. Players also have the opportunity to donate their winnings to the Irish Horse Welfare Trust, and thus far, €3,195 has been raised for that worthy organisation. More information on the competition can be found at http://punters.hollywoodbets.com Awareness of the Hollywood-


bets’ brand has increased significantly in Ireland through the sponsorship, and the partnership has also seen an increase in turnover on Dundalk racing back in South Africa. The goal will be to carry this momentum into the new year, and hopefully take the sponsorship even further once punters and fans are granted a return to the track. More information on Hollywoodbets, and its extensive horse racing, sports betting, and casino games offering, can be found by visiting www. hollywoodbets.ie.

Dundalk Leader 13th January 2021


Oliver celebrates twenty years with the Dundalk Musical Society If you’ve been to a pantomime over the last couple of decades in Dundalk chances are you will have seen Oliver Hanratty on stage given the Carrick Road man is celebrating twenty years of membership with Dundalk Musical Society this year. Oliver’s journey with the Dundalk Musical Society began in 2001 when he took part in the show Dick Whittington which took place in the Town Hall. Oliver was bitten by the acting bug a couple of years earlier having been involved with the Bridge Theatre company, a cross border initiative involving residents of Rehab Care Centre in Carroll Village. According to Oliver he has enjoyed every minute of his time on stage and points to great craic and great friendships made through the Musical Society over the last two decades. “My very first show was Dick Whittington and I really en-

Oliver Hanratty on stage

joyed it,” recalls Oliver. “I love the way the crowd are involved and shout up ‘He’s behind you’ and I love being around all my friends who I have great craic

with. I have made so many friends including Carol, Majella and Paudie Breen who has been a great help to me. I have missed meeting up with all my friends because of lockdown but I’m already looking forward to next year’s show and I’m hoping we can get back to normal before then. I have a few more shows left in me and I can’t wait to get back on stage,” stated Oliver. Paudie Breen from the Dundalk Musical Society congratulated Oliver on his two decades with the group and described him as ‘somebody who never fails to make you smile’. “Oliver has been with us twenty years now and he is somebody who is very helpful and 100% dependable. You can always rely on Oliver to deliver on stage and it is great having him around the place as he is somebody who never fails to make you smile,” stated Paudie.

Roisin and Robert raise over €4,000 for the Simon community

Roisin and Robert’s Christmas lights in all their glory Roisin and Robert Carolan have raised a massive €4303 in aid of the Simon Community thanks to their ‘Lighting up the Darkness’ fundraiser over Christmas. The couple invited anybody in the area to bring their families out to see the spectacular lights on show at their house and asked if possible for them to make a donation to the Si-

mon Community. Speaking last month ahead of the fundraiser Roisin pointed to the fact of 2020 being such a tough year for everybody as inspiration for the event. “2020 has been a very tough year on everyone, and we thought that this year we would go the extra mile by lighting up the darkness in aid of the Dundalk Simon Com-

munity,” stated Roisin. Having passed the €4000 mark this week Roisin said that both she and Robert were overwhelmed by the generosity of everybody who donated and thanked everybody for getting behind the fundraiser. Dundalk Simon community provide a range of services for people who are homeless in Dundalk and the North East.

Oliver’s twenty years with the Dundalk Musical Society


Dundalk Leader 13th January 2021

‘Use drug money for addiction services’-Yore

At July 2020’s Joint Policing Committee Meeting Independent Cllr Paddy McQuillan enquired from Louth’s Chief Superintendent Christy Mangan what exactly happens to the monies that the Gardai seize from drug and drug trafficking in the County. Chief Superintendent Mangan stated that all monies confiscated are directly given to Revenue. Cllr McQuillan asked if it was possible that this money could be redirected to services and organisations in Louth that are combating addiction, Chief Mangan stated that he would like to see this happen. The Independent Cllr said “Fergus O’ Dowd was at the meeting and as a member of the government I asked him to speak with Minister for Justice Helen Mc Entee to see if it was possible to have these funds redirected back to the services that need them. Initially Minister McEntee appeared open to the idea but no progress has been made since then. My fellow Independent Cllr Maeve Yore and I decided to see if we could push this incentive a little and we both got the full support of Chief Supt Mangan.”

Appeal from Louth County Council -

Stay Safe in 2021 Independent Councillors Paddy McQuillan and Maeve Yore with Garda Commissioner Drew Harris. A Joint Motion by Independent Cllrs McQuillan and Yore was submitted to December’s full Louth County Council Meeting requesting provision where monies confiscated under the Proceeds of Crime Legislation be redirected from central Government back into local addiction services, Youth and Community Organisations and Initiatives to combat the effect of addiction in local communities and all necessary legislation changed immediately to allow this vital funding support to happen. “Although primarily raised as a local initiative Cllr Yore and I both believed that this needed to be highlighted and worked on nationally” said Paddy.

Cllr Yore continues “Through our Independents Support Network we contacted Independent Councillors around the country requesting that they submit our Motion. The response has been phenomenal and it shows that addiction services and organisations around the country are badly in need of additional funding and support. We also received support from Independent Senators Keogan and Craughwell and Twelve Independent Colleagues from Donegal, Sligo, Clare, Galway, Tipperary, Meath, Monaghan, Kildare, Wicklow, Wexford, Waterford, Cork have submitted and some have passed the Motion in their respective coun-

cils“ stated Cllr Yore. “What began as a local issue now seems to be a national initiative. Services in Louth that help individuals and their families suffering from addiction need this injection of funding. We realise that legislation needs to be changed to make this happen but this government has shown many times that they can change and bring in new legislation when they need it. There needs to be a political will and commitment to make this happen. As Independent Councillors, on a national level as well as local, we will continue to lobby Minister McEntee to look into how they can make this possible” Cllr McQuillan concluded.”

Social Media companies must be treated as publishers not platforms Social media companies like Twitter and Facebook must now take responsibility and realise that they are publishers and not platforms according to Fine Gael Senator and Seanad Spokesperson on Climate, Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, John McGahon. Senator McGahon said: “Facebook and Twitter have been able to hide behind the excuse that they are merely platforms facilitating online conversations. This has resulted in misinformation, conspiracy theories and other damaging content being allowed to spread and grow like wildfire. “Newspapers and broadcasters, whether local or national are required to fact check and research the content

Senator John McGahon. they publish or broadcast. If they don’t, they face the consequences of libel laws where they can be sued for defamation. “Facebook and Twitter are not held to the same journalistic standards as traditional me-

dia. Facebook’s powerful algorithms can guide people to more extreme content which is often in closed or hidden Facebook groups. It’s a rabbit hole, and it is the perfect environment for the growth of conspiracies and misinformation. “The recent banning of Donald Trump from both platforms was the right thing to do. However late it was, it is a prime example of how both companies are now acting like publishers while pertaining to be platforms. If they are going to make editorial decisions about the content on their platforms, then they have assumed the role of publishers and they must recognise that. “It’s time for Facebook and Twitter to face the facts. They are

publishers who promote media content. They should be bound by the same rules that traditional media have operated under for decades. “At a European level, the power that these companies wield is being increasingly recognised. The proposals under the Digital Services and Digital Markets legislation show that the European Commission has woken up to the responsibilities that these companies must take on. As home to the European Headquarters of both, it’s only right that Ireland makes its voice heard too and puts forward a serious view on Big Tech and regulation, as we will increasingly be looked to as the de facto European regulator,” added Senator McGahon.

The increased number of COVID-19 cases in Louth highlights the need for all of us to redouble our efforts to minimise the spread of the virus. We are asking every person in Louth to take positive action immediately and to change your current behaviours. With those you do meet, be particularly attentive to safe practices - keep your distance, wear a face covering where appropriate, and continue to wash your hands regularly. Working with HSE & An Garda Siochana Cllr Dolores Minogue Cathaoirleach

Joan Martin Chief Executive

County Hall, Millennium Centre, Dundalk, County Louth A91 KFW6 LOCALL 1890 202 303 w www.louthcoco.ie e info@louthcoco.ie Community Call Number 1800-805-817

Dundalk Leader 13th January 2021


Family Notices novena


NOVENA TO THE SACRED HEART Dear Heart of Jesus, in the past I asked you for many favours This time, I ask for this special favour (mention it). Take it, dear Heart of Jesus and place it within your own broken heart, where your Father sees it. Then in his merciful eyes, it will become your favour, not mine. Amen. Say this prayer for 3 days. Promise publication and favours will be granted. (Never known to fail). M.C.

Miracle Prayer Dear Heart of Jesus in the past I have asked you for many favours. This time I ask you this special one (this favour) Take it dear heart of Jesus and place it within your own heart where your father sees it, then it will become your favour, not mine. Say for 3 days and promise publication. Never know to fail. R.K.

Family Notices Contact Noeleen

Telephone 042 9320888


special services

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ATTENTION—For B.E.R. CERTIFICATION of properties being offered for sale or rent, contact Robert Mulholland, BER assessor. 087 609 1906 www.louthber.ie. ADVERTISE YOUR HOUSE Premises for rent or sale to 60,000 readers a week from €5. Telephone Dundalk Leader 042 93 -20888.

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Painting & Decorating—interior and exterior, over 10 years experience, no job too big or too small, for free quotations Tel Ian 087 415 8238. References available. Coaching with Esther—Life and Executive Coach Tel 086 8972007 www.coachingwithesther.com. Qualified Carpenter available for Floors, Doors, Frames, Architraves, Skirtings, Stud Walls, Roofing & All Building Repairs. No Job too big or too small. Call Mark 086 089 5508. VOLUNTEER DRIVER—Available to transport Cancer patients to and from Hospital/Clinic. Highly experienced in this care. Reference available. Fuel contribution requested. Tel Carmel 0044-7923-192799. HANDY MAN—All types of gardening work. Ring Paul 087 9705724. PLASTERER AVAILABLE—Professional tradesman, all plastering repairs, small to medium size jobs, first class plastering. Keen prices. Free quotes. Tel. 087 3525652.

articles for sale Attention Landlords—We supply furniture & Beds for any rental properties you have, Sofas from €299, Beds from €180, Bedroom Furniture Sets from €249 Call us today www.bedstore.ie, Coes Rd, Dundalk Tel 042 932 0927. SELL IT THROUGH A CLASSIFIED—Only €5 for one week up to 20 words. 042 93 20888. The Dundalk Leader. CD Logs—Kiln Dried Ash/Oak & Birch, Weekly Deliveries to Dundalk & surrounding areas. Newry Co. Down Mob 00 44 77 6040 3254 or 048 30269632 www.cdlogs.com. 3 DOORS FOR SALE—Glass, handles, hinges etc. €30 each. Tel. 086 8781834.

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planning LOUTH COUNTY COUNCIL—I, Ian Reilly, intend to apply for Retention Permission & Permission for development at The Cottage, Hoey’s Lane, Dundalk, Co. Louth. The development will consist of:- 1). Permission to retain an unauthorised structure located to north west boundary of the site. 2). Permission to convert & use the current unauthorised structure (which is to be retained as part of this permission) as a commercial storage unit. Included within the application is all associated site development works. This planning application may be inspected or purchased at a fee not exceeding the reasonable cost of making a copy, at the offices of the planning authority during its public opening hours. A submission or observation in relation to the application may be made in writing to the planning authority on payment of the prescribed fee of €20.00, within the period of 5 weeks beginning on the date of receipt by the authority of the application, and such submissions or observations will be considered by the planning authority in making a decision on the application. The planning authority may grant permission subject to or without conditions, or may refuse to grant permission. Signed: Ian Reilly - The Cottage, Hoey’s Lane, Dundalk, Co. Louth.

McGreehan encouraging positive action with Míle Crainn Na hEireann tree-planting initiative

As part of a new initiative to encourage the planting and embracing of Irish native trees, Fianna Fail Senator Erin McGreehan is urging people to get involved with Míle Crainn Na hEireann. The initiative is a ‘legacy’ programme that will result in current and future generations reaping the rewards of positive actions taken now, explained Senator McGreehan. “We want to see our future growing in front of our eyes. We need a sustainable future and trees are at the centre of this,” she added. Mile Crainn Na hEireann encourages people to grow native Irish trees like Silver Birch, Downey Birch, Alder and Willow. “It was these very trees that originally grew on this land,” added the Louth

Senator Erin McGreehan. Senator. “And it was these trees that supported and protected our first settlers.” Mile Crainn Na hEireann will highlight the beauty of our natural indigenous heritage. Senator McGreehan continued: “We want to educate and create

awareness of the importance of respecting our ecological history. The project aims to embrace the folklore that surrounds these trees.” Ireland has the lowest forest cover of all European countries, according to Teagasc. Land cover here is 11%, while

over 40% of all land in the other EU member states is wooded. County Wicklow has the highest concentration of forest cover and County Meath the lowest. These forests are mostly man-made. Government policy is to bring the national forest cover to 17% but that is a long way from where the country needs to be, added Senator McGreehan. “By raising awareness of the importance of our Irish native trees, I hope that this will foster community spirit, educate people on the Irish folklore and history that surround these trees. “I also hope that it will encourage people to plant Irish native trees in their own gardens.” Fine out more at www.facebook.com/ milecrainnnaheireann/

Nursing home residents thank Rozzi for kind gesture Former artist in residence at An Táin Arts Centre Rozzi Kennedy has been busy reading letters from grateful care home residents who put pen to paper to thank her for posting gifts of original signed artworks to them just before Christmas. According to the An Táin Arts Centre facebook page Rozzi was delighted to receive the responses and plans to continue the conversation with residents. “Back in November 2020, our former artist in residence, Rozzi Kennedy and An Táin Arts Centre took inspiration from An Post's free postage plan to bring a little winter joy to those in care homes in Louth by posting gifts of original, signed artworks to their residents. Rozzi created 100 little individual paintings, signed, framed and complete with a handwritten letter.

Some of the handmade cards sent from St Francis Nursing Home. According to Rozzi she received replies from many homes including St. Francis Nursing Home, Mount Oliver, Dundalk in response to the 'Signed, Sealed & Delivered' project. "Residents took the time and made the ef-

fort to write back in their own handwriting even though writing is difficult for some of them to do. I am looking forward to continuing the conversation now that I know the names and a little bit more about the people who received

my paintings and letters. Many of the residents are missing their weekly art class since Covid restrictions started so I will send some ideas and materials with my replies for small art/craft projects," – stated Rozzi.

Dundalk Leader 13th January 2021






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Barnardos extends support line for those impacted by Mother and Baby Home Commission Report In light of the upcoming publication from the Mother and Baby Home Commission, Barnardos Post Adoption Service have extended its confidential and professionally staffed support line from yesterday (Tuesday January 12th). Support groups for adopted adults and birthmothers will also be available. Barnardos has provided a therapeutic post adoption service and a family tracing service for people who spent their childhoods in institutional care for more than 30 years. According to Christine Hennessy, Barnardos Post Adoption Service Leader, “The launch of this long awaited report will cause distress and pain to many people around the country. Aspects of the report plus the delay in the Information and Tracing Legislation is causing a lot of worry and anxiety for many at this time. We want them to know that we are here.” Barnardos recently marked 30 years of group support to birthmothers by the publication of “Growing Stronger Together”- a booklet and audio documentary outlining the stories of women who were parted from their children by adoption. [Download booklet here / Listen to audio documentary here]. Barnardos has delivered support groups for adopted adults for over 25 years. Support available for adults through Barnardos Post Adoption and Origins Services Barnardos confidential and professionally staffed helpline will be open 9.30am4.30pm Monday - Friday, from Tuesday 12th January at (01) 4546388 and we can also be contacted by email at adoption@barnardos.ie A five session series of online support meetings for adopted adults- “Exploring Adoption” will take place from the 4th of March. Further details and registration is on our website and can be accessed here: http://bit.ly/ Exploring_Adoption An online support meeting for birthmothers will take place in February. Please contact the helpline if you are interested in attending.

Dundalk Leader 13th January 2021

SOSAD move services online following latest government restrictions Despite not being able to offer face to face appointments local organisation SOSAD are keen to let people know that they are still very much open and available for anybody who needs to use their services. SOSAD is an Irish suicide prevention and bereavement support charity founded in 2006 by Peter Moroney and the Moroney family. It currently has six offices and counselling centres, in Drogheda, Navan, Cavan, Dundalk, Carrickmacross and Tullamore.

Last March SOSAD were forced to move all their services online following the initial lockdown nine months ago but face to face services resumed in July with safety precautions put in place in all offices. However, the most recent announcement by the government has brought in further restrictions to combat the threat of Covid-19 and

these new guidelines have once again forced SOSAD to move their services online. According to Hattie Billingham, Co-ordinator of SOSAD Dundalk there have been concerns locally following the tightening of restrictions but she was at pains to point out that SOSAD are still open and still available to help those in need. “With the recent an-

nouncement that we have moved to providing all of our services virtually, there has understandably been some concerns. “From March 2020 we were advised under government guidelines to provide our services virtually. On the 20th of July 2020 we reopened for face to face appointments from our centre. Under new advice, 50 minutes with PPE being worn and social distancing was still a risk to our clients, counsellors, volunteers and staff with the new and

Deadline for Sports Capital Grant extended

Hundreds of sports clubs across the county have been given extra time to get their sports capital grant application form together following the announcement that the deadline has been extended from February 11th to March 1st. The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, and the Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers TD made the announcement in recent days confirming that the deadline for receipt of applications under the new round of the Sports Capital and Equipment Programme (SCEP) had been extended to 5pm on Monday 1 March. The extension is designed to assist any clubs who may be encountering difficulties finalising their applications due to COVID-related

restrictions. Minister Martin stated: “In relation to COVID-19, unfortunately we are all aware that it has been necessary to move to Level 5 restrictions in recent weeks, with consequences for travel generally and particularly for the construction sector. My department has been receiving a number of enquiries from potential applicants expressing concern at the original deadline and I am delighted that we have now agreed to further extend the application period.” The Minister of State with responsibility for Sport, Jack Chambers, reiterated the importance of the programme: “The SCEP plays a critical role in getting as many people participating in sport as possible. The COVID-19 crisis has shown just how important

sport is to the Irish people and I want as many clubs as possible to benefit from this important funding. While the original application period was already longer than usual to take account of COVIDrelated restrictions, I am delighted to give this extra time to ensure that all clubs with suitable projects can get their applications submitted.” The SCEP is the government’s primary vehicle for providing support to sports clubs and communities to develop sports infrastructure around the country. The “Guide to Making an Application” is available on the department’s website and can be found here: gov.ie/en/service/d13385sports-capital-programme. At least €40m is being made available under this current round of the Programme.

more contagious strain of COVID-19. Due to this we have been directed to return to delivering our full range of services virtually,” explained Hattie. “We were disappointed with having to do this, but we have a duty of care to all involved. However, we are aware that in certain circumstances, and if a person is at high risk to suicide, we have and will continue to have face to face sessions to provide the help they need. Supporting our community through men-

tal health challenges is and will always be our highest priority,” she added. “These are difficult and uncertain times for us all, now more than ever it’s important that we look after each other. We are still here, and our services are available to anyone who needs them. Our helpline is available at 042-9327311 and further information on our services is available on www.sosadireland. ie,” concluded the local SOSAD co-ordinator.

Funeral of Liam Reilly takes place By Tamara O’Connell

THE funeral has taken place of Bagatelle singer Liam Reilly who died suddenly but peacefully at his home in Dundalk on Friday, January 1. The burial mass for the 65-yearold Eurovision star was held at St Joseph’s Redemptorist Church before his burial in St Patrick’s Cemetery on Thursday, January 7. Due to level 5 restrictions on funeral ceremonies, Liam’s funeral was private for family only with church numbers limited. The community and friends were invited to pay their respects and show support to the family when the cortege left the family residence on the Avenue Road on

Thursday morning at 10.40am. Fr Noel Kehoe’s homily paid tribute to Liam, describing him as “an icon, decent, good, kind, witty and remarkably talented”. He also spoke of the musician’s ability to capture a generation through his songs. Liam’s sister, Barbara, paid tribute to her brother’s good nature and ability to come through challenges in his life. The Dundalk man wrote what became the band’s best-known song ‘Summer in Dublin,’ which was released in 1980. Mr Reilly later launched a solo career and represented Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest in 1990, finishing joint second with his song ‘Somewhere in Europe’.

McGreehan raises concerns over Ardee COVID test centre

Fianna Fáil Senator for Louth Erin McGreehan has raised concerns over the reduced capacity of the Ardee COVID-19 test centre during the Christmas period. Senator McGreehan said, “Over the past few days, I have received many calls from constituents in Louth about the closure of the Ardee testing centre and the resulting delays in close contacts being able to get tested. “People were asked to make the fourhour round trip to Mullingar during this period. Louth has recorded some of the highest numbers of coronavirus cases in recent months so I am surprised that the decision was made to close the Ardee testing centre. “Thankfully the centre has reopened again but I have contacted the HSE and the Department of Health to raise my concerns. I understand capacity might not be at its highest over Christmas but with the number of cases in Louth, I don’t think this centre should have been closed at any stage,” concluded Senator McGreehan.

Members of Dundalk Grammar School Student Council, with in front l to r. Officers Isabelle Janssen, Ashik Prasad and Max McCaldin.

Dundalk Leader 13th January 2021


Seven New Year’s resolutions to Government COVID-19 further restrictions announced make 2021 a safer year for driving

Following the Government’s recent announcement(6/01/20). Vehicle Sales is not classed as “Essential Retail”. Showrooms must remain  closed  to the public. Click and collect from nonessential retail outlets is no longer permitted with immediate effect. Existing orders may be collected. Click and deliver will continue to be permitted. Customers should check with their local retailer. Vehicle servicing and repair, NCT and CVRT  continue to be classed as essential retail outlets undertaking essential services.

Hill Street, Dublin Rd., Dundalk.

042 9331515/086 2559201

People are being advised to restrict their travel within 5km of their homes, they will be allowed access to essential retail outlets and services beyond the 5km limit. This includes servicing and vehicle testing. It is advisable that retailers provide to their testing/service/ repair customers proof (text or email) of the details in the event they are stopped at a Garda checkpoint. Our Members continue to comply and operate with all Government, HSE & HSA guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. More info visit https://www.gov.ie

1—Never drink and drive: While we have come a long way in terms of reducing instances of drink-driving on Irish roads, too many accidents are caused as a result of someone deciding to drive while over the limit. For most of us this behaviour is something we would never dream of doing or tolerate from our friends or family, but as we start a new year it’s worth remembering how dangerous drink-driving is. 2—Make vehicle maintenance a priority: Many of us are guilty of only thinking about car maintenance when something goes wrong, but it really should be a year-long priority. Regular servicing in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines can greatly reduce your risk of a breakdown. Whether it’s checking the battery in the lead-up to winter or checking oil and coolant levels before setting out on a summer drive, keeping your car in


good shape is important all year round. However, if you do suffer a breakdown then don’t forget that the AA Rescue  patrols fix 8 out of 10 cars on the roadside. 3—Put the phone away:  In recent years smartphones have helped to make our lives easier in a number of ways. Unfortunately, as the technology improves more people are falling into the trap of using a phone or hand-held device while driving. Whether you’re stuck at a red light or moving freely in traffic, there’s no place for using these devices while driving. Making the simple decision to put your phone down greatly improves your own safety and that of other motorists and vulnerable road users. 4—Shop around when it comes to insurance:  Whether you’re buying a new car this year or renewing your cover on your current car, many motorists fall into the trap of not

shopping around when it comes to their insurance. Even if you’ve been with your existing provider for years, they may not be giving you the best deal. 5—Adapt your driving to weather/road conditions: Fingers crossed we will avoid any major weather events in 2021,  but even as conditions improve during the summer months it’s important to adapt your driving to the conditions that present themselves. Whether it’s heavy rain or sun glare it’s important that you slow down where necessary to reduce your risk of being involved in an incident. 6—Stick to the speed limit: On the slow down theme, it remains highly important that motorists stick to the speed limit when driving. While the overwhelming majority do this, if you are speeding you’re more likely to be involved in an accident and the damage from any accident could be even greater as

a result of your higher speed. In line with our previous resolution it’s also important that you reduce your speed when conditions require that you do so. The speed limit for a road is not a target and, if conditions make driving at the recommended speed dangerous, it is possible to be prosecuted for speeding/dangerous driving while still obeying the limit. 7—Be on the lookout for vulnerable road users: Our last resolution, but nonetheless an important one, is to ensure that you give due diligence to vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians. Avoid overtaking unless it is safe to do so and, if you are overtaking a cyclist or pedestrian, allow additional space where possible. We all have a responsibility to obey the rules, keep our roads safe and do what is required to minimise fatalities among road users.



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Dundalk Leader 13th January 2021

Profile for Peter Kierans


Dundalk Leader


Dundalk Leader