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22 December 2011 Issue 34 - Volume 12



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Ponies left to die on our roadsides Junior Infants get high visability vests

ESB Electric Ireland and the RSA are distributing 80,000 high visibility vests to every child who started school this year. Over 1,700 high visibility vests are being distributed to Co. Sligo including Gael Scoil Cnoc Na Re, Ballydoogan, Sligo. Pictured is Mr. Kevin Molloy, CRM, ESB Electric Ireland with teacher Marie Ni Fhuarain and the junior infant pupils proudly wearing their high visibility vests. Photo: James Connolly / PicSell8


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growing number of horse owners across the northwest are finding it increasingly difficult to sell their thoroughbreds and ponies and are now resorting to abandoning their steeds or sending failed racehorses to be slaughtered. Rescue centres across the northwest are reporting a significant increase in the number of discarded and abused horses. This year so far there have been 78 horses put down in Mayo alone and a similar number in the Sligo region. Mayo councillor Gerry Ginty, who campaigned for funding for Northwest SPCA and Ainmhithe Animal Rescue, said he was heartened by the news that only six dogs had been ‘killed’ in the last year but was ‘sickened’ that 78 horses have been killed in Mayo. “We are supposed to be a nation which prides itself on its bloodline of horses and when the Queen of England came here she wanted to see these horses. I’m not a big fan of the Queen but if she was brought to see what happens to horses all over this country, she would not want to come to visit this country,” he said. Sligo county vet Conal Colleary told Northwest Express that only last week he was called out to remove seven ponies who were left to die on the side of the N17. He remarked that it was imperative that owners of ponies or horses that are finding it hard to cope with feeding them and housing the animals to look for help sooner rather than later. “If you find that you are low on hay or other feed in December it will be only worse come February so act now and put a plan in place. Pick up the phone and ring the SPCA and they will advice you on what to do” Mr Colleary said. Continued on Page 2

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Ponies left to die on our roadsides continued from front page A father of one in Donegal, who has become an accidental hero to more than 30 abandoned donkeys, has issued an urgent appeal for help.Danny Curran from Raphoe took in a couple of donkeys a few years ago. Now he has so many he has had to set up his very own sanctuary."A donkey may have been the chosen mode of transport on the first Christmas, but there's not a lot of Christmas cheer for them now," said Mr Curran.He urgently needs food and support to get these particular donkeys over the Christmas period."You can buy a donkey now for €20 and some owners would rather abandon them than go through the expense of selling them through a mart at a loss," he explained."Some are abandoned because people can't afford to keep them any longer."Other people buy them as pets and put them in their gardens only to realise that they ruin your lawn." The Irish Horse Welfare Trust confirmed that they have dealt with more negligence cases and jilted horses in recent months than before. Online forums have pages devoted to deserted broncos, with people of the northwest describing locations where horses are caught in ropes, starving and in poor

health. Some are so hungry that they are eating silage that has been there for weeks and as a result get very ill and die. Sue Palling from the Sathya Sai Sanctuary in Castlebaldwin explained to Northwest Express that they will not be re housing any of the 40 donkeys that the have with them this side of the Christmas for fear that they might not end up in the right home. “It is so important that we find good homes for these animals, they have been through a lot. Sathya Sai Sanctuary runs on a grant from government and donations from the public and all staff work there on a completely voluntary basis. Roscommon Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) confirmed that there has been a huge increase in the number of horses being abandoned or mistreated in the county, due to the fact people can no longer afford to pay livery or to feed the creatures. Margaret O'Sullivan from Galway SPCA commented that they have been inundated with calls, with a 100% increase in the number of complaints about ditched cats, dogs and horses. She noted that many of these mares and stallions are on the point of death.“Galway SPCA are operating at

maximum capacity. We get on average 25 calls a week about horses”, she commented. “We are a no-kill sanctuary, so despite the fact there is not enough room for the animals, we won't cull them” Equines were a symbol of prosperity in the boom and many racing enthusiasts fancied leading their race horses to victory. Like that of construction, the over production during the Celtic Tiger led to the collapse in the market for horses as bloodstock sales fell by 43% in 2008. As a result, more and more high flyers are dropping out of racing syndicates, pulling out horses from training and flogging their little beauts for next to nothing. Welfare groups simply cannot cope with the rising number of horses being 'lost'. Sanctuaries are finding it incredibly difficult, as they are at full capacity and have rising costs of feed and veterinary bills. The financial burden of caring for the animals is crippling, For hordes of horses across the northwest, their lives are teetering on the brink of termination. Unless action is taken, the problem will become a full - blown equine crisis.

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Celebrities clear out closets for Sligo Swap Sessions

THE Swap Sessions is a night of fashion bartering of past and present gems in aid of the Irish Motor Neurone Disease Association on Wednesday 28th December at 8pm.The event is in Shell's Cafe, Strandhill, Sligo and is a must for all fashionistas and bargainhunters! Fashion donors so far include RTE’s Miriam O’Callaghan, former Presidential Candidate Mary Davis and Westlife Shane Filan’s wife Gillian who have offered outfits for raffle on the night. Guests are invited to recycle their wardrobes and bring along their unloved clothes which will then be exchanged for tokens, and used to buy forgotten treasures unwanted by others. On the night of the event, fashionistas may purchase, swap or simply donate.Spot prizes on the night include a signed pair of gloves from Sligo Rovers goalkeeper Ciaran Kelly. Guests will also be able to sip on champagne, wine and nibble festive treats while they shop and swap. The Swap Sessions is now actively seeking donations of quality clothes and/or accessories- if you’re in need of a closet clear out please contact to arrange. Founder of The Swap Sessions, Brónagh Crowley, says “We have received

some fantastic donations so far, people have been incredibly generous. It’s essentially guilt free shopping and all the profits will go directly to a great cause, we’re very excited about the night”. Motor Neurone Disease is a progressive neurological condition that attacks the upper and lower motor neurones. In Ireland, one person dies every five days from this devastating disease. It is a condition that leaves people unable to do the everyday things that the rest of us take for granted. Walking, talking and swallowing may become virtually impossible. MND strikes people across all ages and there is currently no known cure. The IMNDA is dedicated to providing care for people with MND, their carers and families such as specialised equipment on loan, home visiting by our MND Nurse Specialist and financial assistance towards home help.The association also funds research into the causes and treatments of this debilitating disease. For more information and to see photos of the first fashion donations check out or @TheSwapSessions on Twitter.

IDA Ireland appoints new North West Regional Business & Relationship Manager

John with the North West Regional Team: (l to r) Michelle Yewlett Regional Marketing Executive; Regina Murphy Executive Assistant & John Nugent North West Regional Business & Relationship Manager

ON the 1st December 2011, John Nugent was appointed IDA’s new North West Regional Business and Relationship Development Manager. John is based in the IDA office in Sligo at the IDA Business & Technology Park, in Finisklin. John has worked in IDA for over 9 years, joining the organisation from its sister agency Enterprise Ireland in 2002. His IDA career started in Sligo where he worked in IDA’s Engineering Division. From 2006 to 2009 he was based in the US working in IDA’s Silicon Valley Office. During this period he worked as part of a team that secured investments into Ireland from many leading-edge multinational technology and social media companies such as Facebook, PayPal and LinkedIn. Since his return from Silicon Valley and

prior to his appointment John has been part of IDA’s Clean Technologies Division focusing specifically on the US and Chinese markets. John studied Chemistry at IT Sligo and Queens University graduating with an honours degree in 1992. He began his career with Enterprise Ireland (then EOLAS) in 1992 initially working as an industrial chemist providing a range of services to Irish based industry, laterally working in a business advisory role with Enterprise Ireland in the North West region based in Sligo. While working John has returned to study twice, completing a Masters Degree in Environmental Protection in 1999 and a Diploma in Business Strategy at the Irish Management Institute in 2003.


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Adults spend more time with mobile phones than print media

ACCORDING to a new report from the US, adults now spend more time on mobile devices than they do with traditional print media. The report also showed how more time is being spent watching TV and DVDs despite there being a belief that consumers are “cord cutting” for more mobile devices such as iPads and iPhones. The study was conducted by eMarketer and found that the average adult consumer spends about four hours and

34 minutes a day watching TV (on an actual TV set), which is a 10-minute increase on last year. Time spent on the Internet rose by 7.7 per cent while time spent using a mobile phone was up a whopping 30 per cent. Although adults now spend less time with traditional media such as print and radio, the overall use of media was up on last year amounting to 11 hours and 33 minutes per day. Include eating and sleeping and that’s pretty much your whole day summed up. We

now spend over an hour a day on our mobile phones compared to just 44 minutes with magazines or newspapers. In case you’re wondering, time spent with each medium also includes all time spent with that medium, regardless of multitasking, so an hour of watching TV while simultaneously on the internet is considered an hour of each activity, reports Silicon Republic. This all begs the question:Would you miss newspapers and magazines if they were to become ‘extinct’?

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Big retailers to freeze VAT in new year on certain items One in five Irish adults has never used the internet

A NEW SURVEY published by the European Union has shown that over one fifth of Ireland’s adults have never used the internet. The data, published last week by the EU’s statistics agency Eurostat, shows that Ireland ranked close to the European average for the exposure of adults to online services. On average across the 27 member states, 24 per cent – just under a quarter – of adults had never been online, even though many may own internet-ready mobile phones or other devices.

Ireland’s non-participation rate was precisely half of what it was when the last similar survey was carried out in 2006 – when 42 per cent of adults said they had never been online. 11 of the 27 members had higher participation rates in the latest survey; Sweden had the greatest internet saturation, with only 5 per cent of adults saying they had never used the internet. Other Scandinavian countries also boasted high internet penetration – Norway, which is not an EU member, also had a 95 per cent usage rate, while all but 7 per cent of Danes and 9 per cent of Finnish people had used the internet at least once. Romania had the lowest usage, with over half of the adult public – some 54 per cent – saying they’d never been online. Statistics published last week by the CSO showed that 81 per cent of households had internet access, with 78 per cent of homes connected to the internet, the majority of them via broadband.

SOME of the major retailers say they will not pass on the VAT hike in January, in news that some smaller retailers might find difficult to match. Aldi, Lidl, Marks & Spencer, newcomer discount store Dealz and opticians Specsavers have announced they will not pass on the VAT increase from 21 percent to 23 percent. Tesco said they would not pass it on to food or clothing but will pass the higher rate on to some non-groceries items like washing powder and household goods. River Island is another store reported as absorbing the 2 percent hike. Retailers will have their margins squeezed

by absorbing the VAT increase but it may be a trend other independent retailers will follow. Most food products are zero-rated for VAT or taxed at 13.5 percent. Luxury goods like chocolate, crisps, soft drinks and bottled water are charged at higher rates. Aldi say they were one of the first to give the commitment that they will absorb the 2 pc VAT increase. This VAT freeze will apply to all groceries – including alcohol and non-food items such as cleaning products. It’s understood most clothes will remain at the old 21 percent rate until new season stock is brought in later in the year.

localnews Avoiding the debt trap this Christmas

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Don’t limit yourself to showroom models

THE latest budget, which includes a mixture of spending cuts and tax hikes, will have a detrimental effect on ordinary families’ finances which will continue long after the Christmas period ends, according to Ryan Stewart, director at debt advice company Frost Debt Solutions. With VAT increasing to 23% in the New Year, reductions in social welfare expenditure through child benefit cuts, additional levies and increases in carbon tax and fuel prices, people are looking into 2012 with trepidation, wondering how they can balance the family budget. “Christmas is inevitably a time of the year when struggling households are under the most intense pressure, particularly where children are involved. It is difficult enough to cope with the extra demands on the finances such as increased electricity bills and heating costs normally associated with the winter months, let alone buying Christmas presents.“ “Looking into to January, we are expecting a huge demand for our services, as people receive larger than normal electricity bills, with no money left to pay for it. There will also be the realisation that money borrowed or put on credit cards for example, will now have to be repaid, as credit card statements begin to arrive following the Christmas rush.” “The first step to dealing with the arrears on your electricity bills is to speak to the supplier. You basically ‘park’ the arrears, and pay your next two-monthly or monthly bill as normal. Over and above this bill, you can agree an amount which you can afford to pay off against the arrears. Frost Debt Solutions can help you determine how much you can reasonably afford to repay.You should also ask the supplier for a repayment card, or swipe card, which you can use to pay small amounts more often, through the likes of the Post Office.” “We would strongly advise against approaching high interest money lenders who offer rates of up to 150%, or those who offer shorter term ‘pay-day’ type loans, which can

attract interest of over 2000%. It may seem attractive at the time, particularly if you have fallen into arrears with the ESB for example, that you can clear the debt and get back on a good footing with them, possibly even avoiding disconnection in more extreme cases.” “But by speaking to the people you owe money to, and entering into a repayment plan with them, which must be affordable for you, you will avoid the need for extra credit. Bear in mind that although you might clear the arrears in one go with one of these loans, the supplier will accept a repayment amount equal to what you will have agreed to repay to the loan provider.” “We see this all the time, where people take these high interest loans to get a short term relief, but ultimately they fall back into arrears very quickly as they cannot afford to pay the loan, and the next bill as well, so the cycle begins again. However, because the lender often calls to the door for payment, it is usually the loan, and not the utility bill, that will get paid first.” “Many credit unions are now offering lowcost loans to counteract these high-interest doorstep lenders, and if you do need a small loan, even if you already owe a debt to the credit union, this should be your first point of call. Credit unions are much more approachable, and easier to deal with. If it comes to a point where you cannot afford to pay all of your bills, as well as your debts, we would ask people to contact us for assistance. There is no point burying your head in the sand, or waiting until a court summons arrives. We have the knowhow to resolve your debt issues, even if you have been told elsewhere that nothing can be done to help you. There are solutions, regardless of your situation, and all advice we offer is free and completely confidential. If you are in debt and you need help, call Frost Debt Solutions for free and confidential advice. Even the call is free. Call Frost Debt Solutions on 1800 200 900 or visit for further information.


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New bus on its way to training centre in Ballina, thanks to grant AMIDST all the negative reports last week concerning the mental health service in Mayo, and claims from the Opposition that the HSE and Government were abandoning the county, came a chink of good news courtesy of Fine Gael TD for Mayo, Deputy Michelle Mulherin. She announced that funding in the form of a grant had been awarded to Western Care’s Ridgepool Training Centre in Ballina by the Department of Health National Lottery Fund. The grant of €25,000 is to be used for the purchase of a new minibus. Deputy Mulherin said that she had been aware for some time of the deteriorating state of the existing bus and had been approached by Western Care’s Ridgepool Training Centre early in the summer about this. The Ballina-based deputy said: "Without a modern, fully-functioning bus, the operation of the training centre would become extremely difficult.” “While working closely with the training centre staff in preparing the application, I pursued the matter with the Minister for Health, Dr James Reilly. "I am pleased that he saw the enormous

benefit that a new bus would bring and I am delighted with his decision.We are all aware of the fine work of Western Care and they deserve every support possible in their efforts to help people with disabilities. “The new bus will be used for a wide variety of tasks including social outings, taking people to medical appointments, for leisure activities and for taking people to Special Olympics training events, to name but a few. Without a new bus, it would be difficult for the excellent level of service that the Ridgepool Training Centre provides to continue.” “Western Care is the leading organisation in its field in this country.With its objective of empowering people with a wide range of learning difficulties in Mayo to live full and satisfied lives as equal citizens, it sets the standards that others aim towards. The Deputy thanked management and staff and all involved with Western Care for their contribution to society and congratulated the Ridgepool Training Centre in its success in obtaining funding for the bus which, she hoped would be of great benefit to the organization and service users over the coming years.

regionalnews Westlife: The real reason for the split T

HEY have enjoyed phenomenal success, with 14 No 1 singles, seven No 1 albums, selling 44 million records in total The lads decided last month that it was all over — they’ll split up after next summer’s tour. It’s an emotional time for them and their army of fans, but, as they said last week, they’ve been considering breaking up for some time. And it’s real — and for ever. ‘We know some sceptics see it as a marketing ploy and think that we’ll make millions by staging a comeback in three years’ time,’ says Mark. ‘After all, Boyzone and Take That re-formed after saying it was all over. But we have zero plans to get back together. ‘No one can predict the future, but as far as we’re all concerned, it is the end of Westlife.’ They first considered splitting in the summer of 2009 after a one-year break to recharge their batteries. They found the original spark wasn’t there and initially blamed it on Simon Cowell, though they never explicitly said so, and his record company Syco. In the beginning Cowell micro-managed their record choices, choosing their 14 No 1s. ‘Simon became massive in the States and had less time for us,’ says Nicky. ‘He still came back and picked our singles, but we just didn’t have him seven days a week as we did at the beginning.’ They had high standards to maintain with all their singles going Top Five until Us Against The World went to No 8 in 2008. For other artists that would still be good, but it signalled something more significant in Westlife as their audience grew up with them and they shifted into more of an album act. But leaving Syco for another label, RCA, did not work the magic they’d hoped for. ‘As a band, though not individually, I think we have lost ambition,’ says Nicky.‘As soon as your hunger goes, you have to face facts, man-up and make the decision.’ Shane explains:‘We realised that we were not enjoying it as much as we used to. ‘It wasn’t the record company’s fault — they offered us a really big multi-million-pound deal and we turned it down.We said we didn’t want

to listen to any more offers. We could have taken the money and not delivered, but we wanted to be honest and end on a high.’ Adds Mark: ‘I really don’t think any one person can be either blamed or take responsibility for the end of Westlife.There was no one incident that resulted in an argument and somebody stomping their foot and saying: “Right that’s it. It’s over!” ‘Everyone slowly started coming round to the same way of thinking, and we waited until we were all of the same mind before we took it seriously. ‘Everyone makes up the band, everyone is responsible for the success and everyone is equally responsible for the end.Westlife has always been quite balanced like that. No one person has ever taken over and caused the beginning, the middle or the end of Westlife.’ Mark, Kian and Shane were originally friends from Sligo and had their own band. It was Shane’s mother who knew Louis Walsh and got them introduced to him. Walsh put together the five-piece hit-making machine in 1998, bringing in Nicky and the long departed Brian McFadden. The four boys are naturally wondering whether they will remain close to each other. ‘I probably know them better than my own brothers, which is freaky but true,’ says Shane who is from a tightknit family of seven children. Kian and his wife Jodi are close to Mark and his partner Kevin McDaid. Dublin-based Nicky seems the most detached. He says: ‘I like to think we will meet up and have a pint and a laugh — why not? It would be silly not to. But at the beginning, we’ll probably all want to find our own individual space.’ When Brian McFadden left the group in 2004, unhappy with their musical direction, they thought they would have to disband. But, urged on by Walsh, Cowell and their fans, within weeks they completed a triumphant tour and knew they were secure. McFadden’s departure still rankles with Kian. ‘Me and Brian have had words about everything that happened. I told him I was unhappy he left our band high and dry four weeks before a big tour. He said he was thinking about it in his terms and I said: “Well, think about it in my terms.” ‘I am not going to lie. I love Brian as a person. He is a fantastic character, he’d give you the shirt off his back. But he is also a loony tune. Connaughton Rd, ‘I thought once one member of the Sligo band leaves at that early stage, that’s it. Tel: 071-9114108 I was probably the one to have that reDublin Rd,. more than Carrick-on-Shannon action anybody else. I thought we were Tel: 071-9621130 done and dusted, and I found it Mon: 10-5 strange at the time 9-7 Tues why he would want to do that. 9-7 Wed: ‘He couldn’t cope 9-8 Thurs: with having four other guys telling 9-8 Fri: him he had to do 9-7 Sat: things. He wanted Sun: 10-5 to be his own person and be the free Bank Hols: 10-5 spirit that he actually is.’ Nicky, too, admits that there was resentment at the

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time.‘But we have been out with him since and discussed our careers,’ he says.‘If he was to ever do anything again with Westlife, that would be very special. ‘For different reasons it may never happen — ever. Or it might happen on the last tour. I think it would be nice, and I hope we do sing with him again one day.’ McFadden may have been the first to crack, but he wasn’t the only one finding it tough to conform to the restrictions of being in a boyband. Shane is a bit sheepish when he admits it now, but in the early days, they were all encouraged to say they didn’t have girlfriends so their fans could imagine they were footloose, fancy-free and available for them. Even then, Shane was in love with his childhood sweetheart Gillian Walsh, now his wife and mother of his three children, —Nicole (6), Patrick (3), and young Shane who will be one in January. ‘I lied, purely to protect her. She was just starting university and was a normal girl in class. Nobody knew she was my girlfriend, bar one or two of her very close friends. But there were 5,000 people in the college who didn’t know, and so they didn’t treat her any differently.’ No one had a tougher time in the band than Mark Feehily who, desperate to cover up the fact he was gay, was in denial to himself, friends, family — and the group. ‘Pop magazines would ask me questions about my ideal girl and I tried to think to myself what she would be. ‘I tried to be honest. I don’t like to look at that period of my life as if I was lying to the fans. I tried my best to be as honest as I could, but I also had some figuring out to do. ‘I come from rural Catholic Ireland. It was a big deal in my head and I made an even bigger deal out of it. Looking back on my life, my family still love me, everyone loves me even more now, but at the time it was not easy to view things that way.’ The lowest point, which was also a turning point for Mark, came at the height of the band’s fame in 2001 with the release of their third album World Of Our Own, which spawned three No 1 singles. He was left alone in a hotel in London while the rest of the band went off to see family.

‘I stayed in bed practically the whole weekend watching TV and was quite depressed. It was horrible. I had never felt so lonely. I was stopping myself walking out the front door of the hotel and meeting somebody and falling in love with them. ‘That was rock bottom. I felt empty and alone. This was at the height of Westlife’s early fame, so it just goes to show that things aren’t always as they seem. ‘Something cracked then — and grew. It took two or three years, but I finally began the process of coming out, which involved telling all my friends back home and my family. Later, I plucked up the courage to speak to the other guys, and then I met my boyfriend Kevin. We went on holidays and weren’t trying to hide.’ A huge moment for Mark personally was the overwhelming approval of the fans at a concert at Croke Park stadium, Dublin, in June 2008 when he told the crowd: ‘I’d like to say a massive thank you to my boyfriend and I love you very much.’ He says now: ‘I barely got to the end of it. I was so choked with the scream of support the crowd let out.’ Mark and Shane — Westlife’s lead vocalists — both plan solo recording careers, with Shane most likely continuing to be managed by Louis Walsh. Nicky, by contrast, says:‘For the first couple of years I won’t miss singing, although I will miss the fans and the banter.’ He has been married for eight years to Georgina, daughter of the former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, and sister of novelist Cecilia Ahern. They have four-year-old twin sons, Jay and Rocco. Nicky now plans a career as a TV presenter. Kian, who is a coach on the Irish version of The Voice, and co-managed recently disbanded girl band Wonderland with Walsh, is thinking about forming a new boy-band to manage. He and wife Jodi are expecting their first child in January. The success of Westlife made them among the richest young men in Ireland, with an estimated fortune of around £10 million each. Some of them have lost more than others in the Irish property crash, but none have lost their determination. Now, all four are flying without wings. Source: Daily Mail


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Mayo Medjugorje pilgrimage to feature on TG4


poignant and moving documentary that followed a Mayo pilgrimage group to Medjugorje earlier this year will be broadcast on TG4 on December 23rd at 8.30pm. The film entitled ‘Sólás na Maighdine’ The Peace and Tranquility of the Blessed Mother; shadows a pligrimage group from Tourmakeady as they embark on an enthralling and fascinating journey to Medjugorje. The Maigh Eo Media documentary brings viewers on a magical and gripping voyage to Bosnia – Herzegovina where many believe the Blessed Mother appeared to six young children in 1981. “Thousands of Irish pilgrims have travelled to Medjugorje for the 30th anniversary of the apparitions this year and this emotional programme will give viewers a unique glimpse of the incredible effect the place has on visitors,” commented the programme producer Piaras Ó Raghallaigh. The Maigh Eo Media film crew were also given exclusive and rare access to record visionary Ivan Drag- Maigh Eo Media producer Piaras O Raghallaigh ičević as he experienced one of his daily apparitions filming for TG4 in Medjugorje with the Blessed Mother. Dragičević was one of the children, who it is claimed the Blessed Mother appeared of the graces we receive on every pilgrimage,” he said. to back in 1981. The insightful documentary speaks to several people “The apparition was so moving and special. Very few who believe they were cured from serious illness in people in the world have ever witnessed these appari- Medjugorje. The film crew also visited several of the tions up close and personal and I think people will be iconic sites in Medjugorje including Apparition Hill, transfixed by what they will see in the documentary,” Cross Mountain and St. Jame’s Church. commented O’Raghallaigh. “I think people will be amazed to witness the passion Pilgrimage co-ordinator Bernard these people have for their faith and their church and Bourke from Partry said he was thrilled their unwavering belief in the power of prayer,” comthat the film crew had accompanied the mented Ó Raghallaigh. group to Medjugorje. “I hope the proFinney native Máire Seoighe describes Medjugorje gramme shines a light on the magic as ‘Heaven on earth’ in the programme. “I would of Medjugorje and that peomove here in the morning if I had the choice. Medple who can’t go there jugorje has changed my life for ever,” she said will experience some

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and an estimated worth With over 800million active profiles establishment in 2004 its e sinc k of half a billion euro Faceboo n. has become a worldwide phenomeno k Zuckerberg could Mar der foun it’s not y ciall Nobody, espe social network site this ence have predicted the enormous influ as a means of enched Laun kly. quic would have on society, so ad photos of their lives abling friends to stay in touch and uplo own, a society that enit has developed into a society of it’s lities and shadow the ona ables people to adopt different pers truth of their lives. ldn’t imagine going As a Facebook member, I actually cou in to check my profile or more than two days without logging t out yet, I realise the flick through photos of a friends nigh book is endangering face ally, Soci dangers that lie underneath. ty to interact and communicate people, particularly young people’s abili y from the glaring ber on facebook has 300 friends, awa face-to-face. While the average mem h different. rprises have computer screen the reality can be muc hindrance in the workplace. Most ente r majo a as people can beFacebook has also emerged that accessing their online profile. The fact king life is wor r been forced to block employees from thei from le to remove their cyber activity come so addicted that they are unab g increasing prevalent. worrying and a trend that is becomin students are spendggling to curtail the amount of time stru are ges Likewise, schools and colle and instead of facIt is all too easy to open your laptop ing on facebook, updating their profiles.

ing the readings and assignments, essential to your studies, quickly log into facebook and before long an hour has passed. Taking photographs on a night out has become the main focus of such nights for many people simply to ensure that the “brilliant” time can be recorded and uploaded for all to see the following morning. However, one of the most concerning tendencies of facebook is the number of young children who are operating accounts. Children as young as six are allowed to activate accounts with little parental supervision and by accepting people that they barely know, it encircles them into friendships with people that play no part in their lives and yet have the ability to witness all their photos, statuses and personal information. However, facebook is not alone. Similar social networking sites including Bebo and Twitter are also becoming more and more influential in our societal habits. While Bebo appeals only to younger users, it has recently endured much criticism for its weakening security and confidentiality. While Twitter is slightly different and has yet to evolve as prominent as Facebook it allows individuals to become followers of their celebrity idols and blur the line between reality and online activity. Facebook is a present influence in the lives of most teenagers and students across the world and looks set to continue to be so but it is important that we realise that it is not reality. Despite the fact that he may list a footballer as his profession, or she may have a modelling portfolio as her profile picture, we cannot become preoccupied with the world displayed on the screen of our Blackberry or Laptop, when we reach the stage where checking your profile is the first thing we do in the mornings and spend more time talking to our online friends than our real ones it is time to realise that there is life beyond Facebook.

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Facebook riot pair get three years

TWO teenagers who used a social networking website to try to start a riot in a Scottish city during this summer's disorder in England have been locked up. Shawn Divin, 16, and Jordan McGinley, 18, used a Facebook page named "Riot in the toon" to call for unrest in Dundee. More than 2,000 people viewed the event posting online, in which they were invited to "kill some f***ing daftys", attack police officers and loot shops on August 17. The pair, who later insisted it was meant to be a joke, both admitted charges of breach of the peace at an earlier hearing. Passing sentence at Dundee Sheriff Court, Sheriff Elizabeth Munro told them: "It's clear that the circumstances of this particular offence are extremely serious." She sentenced both teenagers to three years' detention for the Facebook offence. Divin also had an extra 15 months added to his sentence for a breach of probation and the fact that he committed the offence while on bail. His overall sentence received totalled four years and three months.

MP threats accused fails to appear

technology news Technology could help prevent traffic jams & science

HITECH systems should be integrated to help combat transport congestion that is costing the UK £12 billion a year, a joint industry/Government report has said. Existing and new technology, infrastructure and all forms of transport would come together to create "intelligent mobility", the report said. This would allow predictive travel, better routing of traffic and and easing of congestion - by as much as three to five times in places. The report has been produced by the Automotive Council, a joint industry/Government organisation co-chaired by Business Secretary Vince Cable and industrialist Richard ParryJones. The report said a growing population, in which a key demographic is older people and their personal mobility needs, was also putting a strain on the UK's transport networks. It was very costly to meet the continuous demands on infrastructure but if a solution was not found to congestion, economic activity would be seriously impaired. The Automotive Council used the term "intelligent mobility" to describe the convergence between technologies and transport systems, which up to now have often been developed in

isolation, to create a safer, intelligent, highly interlinked transport network. The report said the key to intelligent mobility lay in connecting up a range of independent industries and technologies such as vehicle manufacturing, transport information systems, communications technologies, logistics and dis-

tribution and infrastructure management. Mr Cable said: "I welcome new transport related technology developments which help to reduce congestion, pollution and improve road safety. "I am pleased to be working with the Automotive Council to take the first step towards promoting collaboratio

Google in £7m anti-slavery donation A 60-year-old man accused of making threats against Conservative MP Louise Mensch has failed to appear in court. Frank Zimmerman, is accused of targeting the politician via Twitter and email. He was due to face Gloucester Magistrates' Court charged with an offence of making malicious communications under Section 127 of the 2003 Communications Act. However, the court heard that Zimmerman was suffering from agoraphobia and had been unwell for the past two weeks and unable to leave his home. In his absence, District Judge Joti Boparai adjourned the case until January 16. Zimmerman was arrested on August 25 by the Metropolitan Police's e-crime unit after an allegation by Mrs Mensch that her children had been threatened by email. Mrs Mensch, who writes chick-lit novels under her maiden name Louise Bagshawe, has three children and was elected MP for Corby in Northamptonshire last year. She posted a message on Twitter that said she had passed the messages to police in the House of Commons. Mrs Mensch said: "I don't bully easily, kids. Or in fact at all."

Tech giant Google has announced it is donating 11.5 million US dollars (£7.4 million) to several coalitions fighting to end the modernday slavery of some 27 million people around the world. In what is believed to be the largest ever corporate grant devoted to the advocacy, intervention and rescue of people being held, forced to work or provide sex against their will,

Google said it chose organisations with proven records in combating slavery. "Many people are surprised to learn there are more people trapped in slavery today than any time in history," said Jacquelline Fuller, director of charitable giving and advocacy for Google. "The good news is that there are solutions." The Washington, DC-based International Justice Mission, a human rights organisation that works globally to rescue victims of slavery and sexual exploitation, was chosen by Google to lead the efforts. It will partner with Polaris Project and Slavery Footprint and a handful of smaller organisations for the multi-year effort to rescue the enslaved, push for better infrastructure and resources for anti-slavery enforcement agencies overseas, as well as raise awareness in the United States and help countries draft antislavery legislation. Gary A Haugen, president of the International Justice Mission (IJM), said the coalition would focus on three initiatives: a 3.5 million dollar (£2.25 million) intervention project to fight forced labour in India; a 4.5 million dollar (£2.9 million) advocacy campaign in India to educate and protect the vulnerable; and a

1.8 million dollar (£1.1 million) plan to mobilise Americans on behalf of the millions currently at risk of slavery or waiting for rescue around the world. The remaining 1.7 million dollars (£1.09 million) will go to several smaller organisations working to combat slavery. Those leading the US efforts will meet in Washington to kick off the joint initiative. The project will focus on improved legislation to protect vulnerable children and adults in the United States, as well as a push for more accountability and transparency in the US supply chain by retailers and manufacturers to make sure their products are "slave-free". The new effort will launch initiatives that ordinary Americans can take to help abolish modern-day slavery, such as understanding how their own clothing or smart phones might contain fabrics or components manufactured by forced labour. "Whether it's by calling the national human trafficking hotline, sending a letter to their senator, or using online advocacy tools, millions of Americans will be able to use their voices to ensure that ending this problem becomes a top priority," said Bradley Myles, executive director of Polaris Project.

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Teen terrified of crumpets!

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Hotel builds huge edible Xmas hut out of gingerbread A North Yorkshire teenager has told how she has developed an unlikely phobia - of crumpets. Stefani Ingamells, 19, from Scarborough, claims the mere sight of the snack makes her feel sick and want to flee. The make-up artist told The Sun: "If I was forced to look at one for any length of time I think I would be sick. "My first reaction is always to destroy the crumpet. But then I have a strong urge to run away." Apparently, it's the dimples that cause the problem. Miss Ingamells has been diagnosed with trypophobia - a fear of holes. "The other day I saw a group of straws pointing upwards and I was terrified. I also hate Crunchies because of the holes in the honeycomb," she added. "But my biggest fear has always been crumpets. My first memory of them was when I was five. My mum gave me one for breakfast and I just screamed." After years of thinking she was alone, she finally discovered fellow sufferers by looking up 'fear' and 'crumpets' on the internet. "I found lots of forums and support groups full of other people with trypophobia. We all have a fear of small clusters of holes," she said.

Hotel guests invited to steal Banksy

A hotel in China has spread festive cheer to its guests by constructing a Christmas hut in the lobby - made entirely out of gingerbread. THE hut, at the five-star Four Points hotel in the eastern province of Lianyungang, features a host edible festive decorations including stockings, reindeer and Santa Claus figures. Hotel staff estimated that the structure cost 30,000 Yuan (£3,000) to create, using 250kg of flour, 300 bottles of honey, 50kg of sugar and a large amount of cream and chocolate. A spokesperson commented: 'It took more than 30 staff 20 days.' The Chinese hotel is not the only one which has been creative with its festive decorations this year. The Kahler Grand Hotel in Rochester, Minnesota, recently unveiled a giant gingerbread house in its lobby in a bid to provide Christmas cheer to its guests. According to reports the house is 16 foot high and contains more than 4,000lb of edible gingerbread. Another US hotel, the Harbor Beach Marriott Fort Lauderdale, Florida, bypassed gingerbread in favour of chocolate for its own festive scene. The wintry work of art, which features snowmen and Christmas trees, was made out of more than 600lb of chocolate.

Virgin Holidays store witnesses record attempt for largest swimwear queue A large number of brave individuals lined up in the freezing cold outside the Virgin Holidays store in Kensington High Street in an attempt to break the world record for the world's largest swimwear queue. THE young men and women taking part were given the incentive of being allowed to pre-register for the holiday company's famous January sale. Prices for holidays around the world start as low as £399, so it's not hard to understand why some people went to such lengths to bag a bargain. Virgin Holiday's West London store, which officially opens in January, is the company's first permanent high street location not within a department store or supermarket. The two-storey, 18,000 sq ft building will feature 'shops within a shop' including a Virgin Holidays store, a Hip Hotels shop and a cruise shop. 'It will be very experiential. We want people to come in and play with and experience travel, not just be sold it,' said customer director Mark Anderson. 'There will be elements from our concession stores that work well, plus some really innovative, experiential new concepts.'

AN Australian hotel is to put a £10,000 Banksy on display - and is inviting guests to try and steal it. The Art Series hotel chain says the grafitti artist's No Ball Games painting will be on display for up to a month at one of its three hotels in Melbourne. Guests are being invited to find and steal the artwork. If they are caught, it goes back on the wall, if they're successful, they can keep it. The marketing ploy is designed to be in keeping with the artist's guerilla approach, reports the Melbourne Age. A hotel spokesman said: ''If we catch you, and ask you to stop and put it back, then you have to stop and put it back. "Don't steal or damage anything else in the hotel, be a polite, respectful and sophisticated art crook with an eye for a good Banksy and the whole thing will work a treat "Be cool. Art thieves are always cool.".

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The information provided to you on this page is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for medical advice and it is important that you do not make medical decisions without first consulting your doctor or other healthcare professional.

11 Tips for Avoiding Holiday Depression Triggers Coping with depression flect where you are in your healing process," Jonsson says. Schedule some sleep Holiday activities easily can interfere with your sleep schedule. But studies have shown there is a link between sleep loss and depression, so you need to be extra careful about cutting back on sleep to get everything done. Try to get to bed and wake up at approximately the same time every day; avoid large meals and physical activity such as dancing within a few hours of bedtime; and make your bedroom a sleep sanctuary, free from TV or other distractions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It's a myth that suicide is more common around the holidays (springtime is actually the peak). But holiday cheer isn't a given either. High expectations, money woes, and other holiday hazards can spell trouble for anyone, but especially those prone to depression. With a bit of foresight and planning, however, holidays can leave you feeling up, not down. Follow these tips for a successful holiday. Plan ahead Spend some time figuring out how to take care of yourself during this time, says John Sharp, MD, a psychiatrist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, in Boston. Come up with restorative routines, such as reading a book or napping, and write them on a calendar. In between shopping and baking, make sure these routines don't fall by the wayside. "Figure out what basics are going to help you get through the holidays and make them a priority," Dr. Sharp says. Avoid family conflict There are a couple ways to save your sanity at family gatherings, says Jeffrey Greeson, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University School of Medicine, in Durham, N.C. If you know there are going to be conflicts, prepare a neutral response, such as, "Let's talk about that another time," or, "I can see how you would feel that way." Then escape to the restroom, offer to help in the kitchen, or go hang out with the kids. And it always helps to call a good friend if you need a sympathetic ear. Forget perfection Debbie Thurman, a 57-year-old from Monroe, Va., suffered from depression for years, and the holidays made it worse. From decorating to finding the perfect gifts, she felt overwhelmed. At a support group's suggestion, she listed the simple things that really made her family happy, and she began traditions that helped the less fortunate. "When you take your eyes off of yourself and focus on those who have far less than you do, you can't be depressed," she says. "I learned to be grateful for the blessings I had, and I had a lot."

Learn to grieve If you are mourning a loved one, it's a good time to talk about your feelings or reach out to support groups. "There's no one right way to feel," says Deborah Jonsson, public relations manager at Avow Hospice, in Collier County, Fla. It's not uncommon to feel angry at the person for leaving you alone or feeling guilty if you do enjoy yourself during the holidays. "All feelings are a sign that you're human and re-

Get help When Thurman's children were young, she and her husband lived far away from their extended family. When she needed support during "black bouts of depression," she leaned on close friends. She and her husband had two couples in particular that helped them through difficult times. "These friends were godsends," she says. "I credit them with quite possibly helping to save my life," she says. "I also drew encouragement from a small support group of women who were dealing with depression."



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Heartburn Tip of the Day

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Easy ways to keep acid reflux under control By Megan Fennell DAY 1 - Kick butts Smoking cuts down on saliva, which normally flushes stomach acid out of the esophagus and contains a natural acid fighter, bicarbonate. DAY 2 - Calm down Stress can make you feel the symptoms of acid reflux more acutely, and the majority of people with acid reflux say stress is a common trigger.

DAY 8- Choose pasta carefully For those with a craving for pasta, try recipes with thin, broth-like sauces. Tomatoes and heavy sauces are a no-no for people with GERD. DAY 9 - Cut down on drinking The percentage of people reporting reflux symptoms increased with the number of

drinks consumed weekly, according to a study in theAmerican Journal of Medicine. DAY 10 - Bulk up on beans If you have GERD, beans should be a regular feature in your diet. In this white-bean soup, they’re an excellent source of protein and fiber and a great alternative to fatty meats, which can aggravate heartburn.

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DAY 5 - Ban trigger food Common trigger foods include spicy meals, fatty red meat, french fries (and other fried foods), citrus fruit, raw onion, tomatoes, butter, oil, peppermint, chocolate, and caffeine.

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Operation Transformation Star presents Goal to Work Certificates to Ballina Sports Coaches

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13 jobseekers from the Ballina area have just completed a 14 week long specialised sports coaching course which it is hoped will provide them with the tools to obtain some part

Trainees also honed their skills while on placement in Ballina urban area national schools for one of days, giving many school children some quality coaching experiences. Mr Ronan Scully of recent Operation Transformation fame presented the coaches with their Goal to Work certificates at an event held in Hotel Ballina. Mr Scully, who in the past has worked for the charity agency GOAL, gave an insight into his personal challenges and struggles with his own self esteem. This resonated


Christmas Party Time!!! Lunch & Evening Christmas Menus Available Every night can be a party night Live music every weekend Please contact Mary & Miah for further details 096-72379 time employment. The 2 days a week “Goal to Work” programme allowed trainees to become fully qualified G.A.A., Rugby and Soccer coaches with additional sports modules in child protection, first aid, disability awareness and active leadership completed.

with much of the audience who could identify with the issues involved. Also speaking at the event was Ballina Town Council Mayor Cllr Peter Clarke who earlier this year attended the launch of the initiative and commended the project co-ordinators

Let us help you organise a Christmas Party to remember!

Mayo North East LEADER Partnership Co., Mayo Sports Partnership and Mayo County Development Board for their foresight in bringing such an innovative programme to fruition. “Goal to Work” is an exciting initiative originally piloted in Mayo in 2010. The first programme trained 12 jobseekers to become fully qualified soccer coaches and referees with many of those gaining some part time employment as a result. Goal to Work 2 builds on the pilot initiative is multi sport and specifically targeted the Ballina urban area. In addition, training was provided on how to explore setting up a business, enterprise and further educational opportunities.  Other modules included IT, communication skills, progression routes and CV preparation. All of which would help participants to identify possible employment after the 14 week programme. Already one of the trainees have taken up an internship with others looking to further their skills through other training courses. Some plan to work with the governing bodies of sport while also continuing to assist schools and local communities in developing participation opportunities. Speaking on this issue Siobhán CarrollWebb of Mayo North East LEADER Partnership Co. said “Assisting the Sports Leaders / Coaches to find some part time employment or even to progress further in education or training opportunities is an important outcome for the organising committee. A number of the participants in the inaugural Goal to Work sports coach training programme actually secured Sports Co-ordinator positions in local community centres”. “This is a fine example of effective and efficient interGAA Group 1

Rugby Group

agency work” states Siobhán as she stresses the importance of and value in collaborative inter-agency working in the current economic climate It is hoped that the initiative will benefit the Ballina area with many of the coaches linking in with the recently formed Moy Sports Forum to provide participation opportunities for disadvantaged sectors of the community. “Sport is one of the few areas which continues to prosper and give hope at this moment and time.The contribution these Sports Leaders can make towards a better quality of life for all should not be underestimated. Already they have facilitated a community sports day in both Parkside and Cluain na Ri estates during the Halloween break.” Sports Co-ordinator for the Mayo Sports Partnership Charlie Lambert added. The organising committee mentioned above would like to thank Ballina Town Council, Department of Social Protection, Mayo Mental Health, Mayo jobs Club, Mayo GAA, FAI, Connaught Branch of the IRFU, Ballina Urban area primary schools and all the participants on the programme. To find out more about the programme log on to or contact Mary Glynn at Mayo North East LEADER Partnership Company Knock Office on 094 9376627 or e-mail


'Sligo Enterprise & Technology Centre would like to wish all our Tenants and Clients a very happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year. We will be closed from Fri 23 Dec 2011 until 3 Jan 2012.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to all our customers

You can also call us on 1890

908 318 or 096 79201

or email us at

•Re-lining •Re-building •Stove Installation •Twin wall flue specialists •Insurance claims •Thermal Imaging •Smoke Testing •Draught Testing •Problem Solving •CCTV Chimney Inspections


Wishing all our customers a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year! Tel: 087-6196013 / 085-1248560 Email:

Colin Foran

Your Local Broker

Cornmarket Financial Services, Unit 5, N.W. Business Park, Collooney. Fax: 071-9130084 For a Quotation / Free Consultation Phone Colin on 087-2579436 / 087-9725777 or Email: Authorised and Regulated by the Cental Bank

CLLR MARGARET GORMLEY Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to All from Margaret Gormley Carrowloughlin, Bunninadden, Co. Sligo. Tel: 071-9183239 / 086-8394795

• All meats locally sourced • Home cured bacon Wishing all our customers a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!


O’Connell St, Ballymote Tel: 071-9197777


Bohola, Claremorris, Co. Mayo •Tel 094-9384217 Mob: 087-9969455 Visit us online:

MAIN DEALERS URSUS • LANDINI • McCORMICK SALES • SERVICE • SPARE PARTS Bar, Hotels Private Houses All Upholstery undertaken Huge Selection of fabrics Contact: 086-8361070 or 071-9663986

NEW TRACTORS ALWAYS IN STOCK Finance Arranged Loaders new and Used. Also attachments: • Bucket Grabs • Forks • Bale Splitters • Bale handlers • Fertilizer Spreaders • Slurry Tanks • Sprayers • Agitators • Selection of Part-worn tyres

Jimmy, Angela, Keith together with their family and staff wish Seasons Greetings to all their customers and friends and thank them most sincerly for all their business during the year and wish them Health and Happiness in 2012

Wishing all our customers a Very Merry Christmas and Propserous New Year

Furbo, Co. Galway. Tel: 086-2592345 Instant, reliable communication between users. No future bills.No hassle, Specialists in two-way programming, repairs, parts supplied for radios, aerial masts etc.Trade enquries welcome. Commercial safety camera system. Suitable for tractors, machinery, diggers, combine harvesters etc. Required by law â‚Ź250 All new Calving Camera Kits, wireless, distance no object (phone for details) Reversing cameras supplied and fitted nationwide - Call for details Car Reversing Sensors supplied and fited Mobile signal boosters increase the reception for your entire building to stop your missed or dropped calls.

The Perfect Christmas Gift

TheTrulyOne Universal Bluetooth Display Car Kit. Dual handset compatible. Prices from â‚Ź100

Christmas Greetings Ballintrillick, Co. Sligo

“Fast Reliable Service”

cleaning & maintenance services

• 60ft Reach & Wash Window Cleaning • Red Fungus Removed • Gutters, Fascia & Soffits Cleaned • Chimney Cleaning • Power Washing - Driveways, Forecourts, Canopies • Gutters and Fascia’s • Drain Blockages Cleared • CCTV Camera Work • Domestic Drain Jetting Wishing all our customers a Merry Christmas and peaceful New Year

Tel Alan on 087-2362433 or 071-9842542 Lo-Call: 1890 907255 Tel: 071-9622202 Mobile: 087-9838070


Part ot the ECCE Scheme

All Day Care Centre 20 Connolly Street, Sligo Tel: 071-9154613 / 087-6506262

• Full time / part time care (Mornings & afternoons and all day) Merry Christmas (Hourly care also available) • After School Service to all Parents and • School pickup service Children from • Home work supervision • OPEN ALL DAY SATURDAY Catherine and the • Open 50 weeks per year • HSE Inspected • Secure outdoor play staff at Lilliput All area • Hot meals • Town centre location • Qualified and Day Care Centre experienced staff • Providing quality care for last 9 years

Senator Susan O'Keeffe

• Wired and Wireless Intruder Alarms • Fire Alarms • Smoke Alarms • Elderly / Medical Alarms • Digital CCTV Systems • Access Control

Wishes You A Happy Christmas And A Peaceful New Year

WIRED INTRUDER ALARMS from.......€499 WIRELESS INTRUDER ALARMS from....€599 DIGITAL CCTV SYSTEMS from..........€850 GATE AUTOMATION from...............€1250 Call for more information Tel: 0876571469/01-6183870

Wishing all our Customers and Friends a Happy Christmas and Prosperous New Year

Bundoran Motors Vehicle Repairs & Latest Diagnostics Computerised Pre-Test Lane Available

Unit 6, Moy Valley Business Park, Primrose Hill, Ballina, Co. Mayo

“Thanking all our customers of their support throughout the year and wishing you all a very merry Christmas and prosperous new year” Suppliers to Supermarkets, Shops, Pubs, Clubs, Restaurants, Butchers and Hotels Suppliers of Pork, Bacon, Cooked Meats, Drozen & Catering Products

• Tyres • Batteries• Exhausts and all your motoring needs Wishing all our customers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New year

Tel: 071-9842288

Office: 096-70105 • Fax: 096-20061 • Mobile: 087-259-4509 •





Hair To Shoulder SPARE PARTS SUPPLIER Visit us for all your catering & party hire needs We Supply quality home bakeware and utensils, including a wide range of Wilton Sugar Craft. Great Selection of Wedding Cake Decorations and Equipment

For Full Range of Catering Equipment

Elements for Boilers, Bulbs for Bain-maries, Thermostats, etc, etc

Wishing all our customers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year Hill St, Ballina - Tel: 096-72607 Email:

8 Thomas Street, Sligo. Tel: 071-9145456

• Blowdry €15 • Cut/Blowdry €30 Colour and Cut €60 • GHD Curls....€25 Curly Blowdry.....€25 We wish all our clients a very Happy Christmas and a very Merry New Year

Bio-Energy Therapy Touch for Health Kinesiology Westport & Castlebar


for appointment Call Mark on 087-1962618 Gift Vouchers Available

Indian Cusine

Lower Charles Street, Castlebar. Tel: 094-9025066 Wishing all our customers a Merry Christmas from

waayy Taakkeeaaw T % 2200% o isccouunntt Dis D

MEAL DEAL 4 Course meal for two


d Me n u Ea rly Bir s for 4 Course 5pp Just €14.9 Mo n-Fri

5 Course L unch Fri, Sa t & Sun

ONLY € 10

ll T ulsi W ishin g a rs a Cus tome Mer ry a nd C hrist mas ew Table for 6 Hap py N or more Yea r

10% Discount

RosellenÊs Flowers Main Street, Enniscone, Co. Sligo


• Special Occasions • Birthdays, Anniversary, Sorry, Thank you, I Love You • Funerals - with the respect they deserve • Weddings - attention to every details “From a single stem to an entire wedding”

Tel: 087-2786870

Christmas Greetings Free Phone (1890) 905 253 Visit our showroom beside Duncan Island, Far Finisklin Road, Sligo

FOR EMERGENCY CALL OUTS OVER THE CHRISTMAS PERIOD CALL 071-9161924 Closing 1/2 Day Thursday 22nd Dec Reopening Tuesday 3rd Jan

Tel 071 9161924 FAX: 071-9152890 - MOB: 086-2617280

Adrian: 087-2357727 • Office: 071-9142100 •

• Cavity Wall and Attic Insulation • Spray Foam Insulation • Waterproof Lining (Flat Roofs) Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year to all our Customers!


CLLR GERRY GINTY Merry Christmas and a Happy New year to All from Cllr Gerry Ginty Killala Rd. Ballina Phone: (096) 22614 / 70480 087-7659235 / Email:

all our Wishing a Merry rs custome s and Christma s new u ro e prosp r a ye

• Water Analysis • Water Filtration • Water Softening • Well Drilling • Pump Supplied and Fitted • Rain Water Collection & Purification • Sewage Treatment Systems

IN THE BUSINESS FOR OVER 25 YEARS Phone: 086-8072249 071-9658976

We are closed Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, St Stephen's Day and New Years Day Open every other day from 10:30 am until 6:00 pm except Sundays 12:00 until 6:00 untill the kids go back to school! Happy and Peaceful Christmas and 2012 to all our customers. Many thanks for the continued support throughout 2011.

Cut your oil costs …insulate today! CAVITY WALL INSULATION Bonded Bead SPRAY FOAM INSULATION For Attics, Dormers, Conservatories & Agri -sheds NSAI APPROVED

Thanking all our customers for their support throughout the year and wishing them all a Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year Contact Noel at 087-7445555 Tel: 096-74980, Fax: 096-37555

Wishing all our Customers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year We are Closed from Weds 21st Dec until January 9th 2012

t c e f r e P e Th

Santa is coming to town

Christmas Gift

GILLS DRIVING SCHOOL --- Ballina - Castlebar - Belmullet ---

Horsevalley, Headford, Co. Galway Tel: 093-35644 Foxford Road, Ballina, Co. Mayo .Tel: 096-79785


McNelis Lines 122 Curr Road | Beragh Omagh | BT79 0QT Tel/Fax: 048-8075 8225 Mobile: 0044 78 3508 4900 Email: Web:

€29.95 Per Car lesson 6 for the price of 5 BOOK TODAY 096-73030

We’re Bigger Because We’re Better


The PRACTICALLY perfect Christmas present!

The Perfect Present Ho n d a 5 0 Brand New eg R e p. 2 0 1 2 R

only €1749

“Free Delivery” with every purchase before Christmas Abbey Street, Ardnaree, Ballina Co.Mayo Tel: 096 79694 Email:

Pre-Christmas Giveaway for the month of November Buy any piece of Amber


Quayside Shopping Centre, Wine Street, Sligo

Tel: 087-1123622 or 087-6211792

worth €20 or more get a *selected necklace set FREE

•Services include Ear Piercing •Buy Gold •Knot & Restring Pearls • Make and Repair Jewellery • Indian Clothing from €5/€10 JOIN THE CHRISTMAS CLUB!

RISTMAS THE PERFECT PRE-CH P AR T Y V E N U E Get what you really want this Xmas And visit us and make heads turn. Irish winners of Redken NYC colour trophy 2011 Loreal top 10 finalists 2011

To Advertise here Call our Friendly Sales Team on 071-9154538

Opening Times: Closed Monday & Tuesday - Wed, Thur & Fri 15:00 - 20:00 Sat & Sun 12:00 - 20:00 Provisional Booking required for off hours - Last groups 20:00 - 22:00

visit us online at Tel: 071-9146060 or 087-2405714

Go on your worth it

Great gifts : Ghd's 'Kerastase Paris, Redken, Gift Packs, Gift Cards & lots more Your Christmas all wrapped up - Very competitively priced

OPEN: Monday -Saturday 9-6 late opening thur/Friday 9-8 Santa arrives by Sleigh on Dec 3rd at 5pm. Open every day till 23rd Dec, Mon-Fri 4pm-7pm Sat & Sun 3pm - 7pm. €7 per adult & €15 per child (including Santa and Gift) No booking is required, tickets can be purchased on arrival. Cards are not accepted here.

Extra late hrs over Xmas Find us on Facebook: Rossanos Hair Design and Beauty

Battlebridge, Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Roscommon



Did you know?

Word Puzzle!

Here is a game that you can play to test your skill. This game will present you with a matrix filled with letters. The objective is to form words by concatenating adjacent letters. Letters that are to the left, right, on top, bottom, or on a diagonal to each other are all acceptable.

SAMPLE PUZZLE Here are some words that can be found in this sample matrix: any chant panel path trench Here are some words that are not valid in this puzzle: chance - uses the 'c' twice chaps - 's' is not adjacent


By Megan Fennell

Our humble home The stars that you see in the night sky are part of the Milky Way, our home galaxy. But the Milky Way is not all around us because we do not live in the middle of the Milky Way; our solar system resides midway between the edge and the center of the Milky Way galaxy. If we could travel at the speed of light (186,000 miles per second), it would take us about 25,000 years to reach either the rim or the center of the Milky Way. Our solar system makes up only a tiny part of the Milky Way. To compare, if the entire Milky Way would be the size of the United States, our solar system would only be the size of an American penny.

WIN! €25

Invention of the submarine Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519) made sketches of a submarine and William Bourne, a British mathematician, drew plans for a submarine in 1578. But it was only in 1620 that Cornelius van Drebbel, a Dutch inventor, managed to build a submarine. He wrapped a wooden rowboat tightly in waterproofed leather and had air tubes with floats to the surface to provide oxygen. Of course, there were no engines yet, so the oars went through the hull at leather gaskets. He took the first trip with 12 oarsmen in the Thames River – staying submerged for 3 hours.

1. High King who died defeating the Danes at Clontarf trips over our bar bin. (5,4) 6. Let's turn up after a century to find the ancient people who came to Ireland in about 200 B.C. (5) 9. "The ----- of Roger Casement is beating on the door." Yeats. (5) 10. Object to night being over. (5) 12. Extinct dinornis seen amongst the Macroom oatfields. (3) 13. " --- thine house in order for thou shalt die and not live." Isaiah Chap. 38 verse 1 (3) 15. Sparkling wine for Irish secondary teachers? (4) 18. Old copper leads flowing water to the one in control. (6) 21. " ---- kindly Light, among the encircling gloom." Newman. (4) 23. By word of mouth in Fennor allusion. (4) 25. Steer glance away towards pretty Donegal seaside resort near Moville. (11) 26. "She bid me take love ----, as the leaves grow on the tree." Yeats. (4) 27. Dane comes over to spell out Jonathan Swift's position. (4) 28. To admonish makes Rex hot. (6) 29. "Who ---- you?" Penny Catechism. (4) 32. Race around out east, controlled by 18 across. (3) 36. Irish football fans' cheer forms part of Mayo lexicon. (3) 37. Do be a confused arrangement at home. (5) 38. Note 3 R's with nothing included is a mistake. (5) 39. A reed is broken in ancient Louth town where Cuchulainn slew his friend Ferdia in combat. (5) 40. Let Bet rub around Cavan market town and angling centre on the Erne. (9)

The great global climate change quick guide Did the earth get hotter? Yes. Is it common? Yes. Since 1900, the average temperature has increased by 0.7 degrees Celsius. Over the past 300 years, the temperature has risen by about 0.6 °C. Of course, we didn’t have cars and electricity for most of this time. So the great climate debate is not if the earth is getting hot or not but if or how we earthlings are having an impact on the global climate. The first person to suggest climate change due to human activities was made by Swedish scientist Svante Arrhenius, in 1896. However, American geophysicist Roger Revelle is credited for making the first high-level global warming predictions, in 1965. Now, everyone from grandma to the United Nations is in on the debate. The only ones sitting out are the bookies, perhaps because long term predictions about the climate are too risky.

DOWN 1. Bale of long mixture in region of Central Plain of Ireland stretching from Kildare to the Shannon. (3,2,5) 2. "Stone walls do not a prison make, Nor ---- bars a cage." Lovelace. (4) 3.Take heed of musical sound? (4) 4. If lambs eat ivy, what do mares and does eat in Mayo at sunrise? (4) 5. One to measure with for the soldiers. (4) 6.Toothed wheel to copy colloquially? (3) 7.Taken in by Achill imitation in the extreme. (5) 8.Wash up for the Irish playwright, (1856-1900). (4) 11. Hack devil he arranged in West Waterford feature rising 230 feet above the sea near Ring. (7,4) 14. Make the water hard, but turn it loose at first. (6) 16. Short Irish lawman is not young and will rebuke. (5) 17. Puts into flexible containers, but makes a mess of it if one makes a this of it? (4)

19. Put in order once more in seaside town. (6) 20.Tilt B.R. cone. (anag.) Monaghan site of battle where Hugh O'Neill defeated the English in 1595. (10) 22.The wood nymph seen in sundry advertisements. (5) 24. Lively Irish dance seen in Bruree, Limerick. (4) 30. Named over change. (5) 31. Commanding officer joins mother in a deep sleep .........(4) 32. ........then he joins doctor to search thoroughly. (4) 33. Not an imaginary sound to 24 down. (4) 34.Toome numbers include a list of options. (4) 35. Grouse about the bed. (4) 37. "For each --- is a dream that is dying, or one that is coming to birth." O'Shaughnessy. (3)

To be in with a chance of winning, fill out the crossword and your your name, telephone number and address and post to Puzzle Time Competition, Northwest Express, Unit 3, Riverview House, Barret Street, Ballina, Co. Mayo. - Good Luck!!

55. boy (1) 56. cee (1) 57. cep (1) 58. cob (1) 59. coo (1) 60. cos (1) 61. cox (1) 62. coy (1) 63. eel (1)

64. hes (1) 65. hob (1) 66. hos (1) 67. hoy (1) 68. lee (1) 69. les (1) 70. obe (1) 71. oho (1) 72. ooh (1)

73. ose (1) 74. oxy (1) 75. pec (1) 76. pee (1) 77. pes (1) 78. sec (1) 79. see (1) 80. sel (1) 81. sob (1)

82. sou (1) 83. sox (1) 84. soy (1) 85. yob (1) 86. you (1)

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  $#55  %172.'45 8'4; 0+%' 4'& 2'#4. 8'4; )11& % &+6+10 %9 *#4&5*'.. %          

46. syce (2) 47. yobs (2) 48. bee (1) 49. bel (1) 50. bes (1) 51. bob (1) 52. boo (1) 53. bos (1) 54. box (1)


      

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37. lees (2) 38. obes (2) 39. pecs (2) 40. peel (2) 41. pees (2) 42. peso (2) 43. seel (2) 44. seep (2) 45. spec (2)

   01/#66'4*19$+)145/#..  9*; 016 #&8'46+5' 6*'/ (149+6*75 +/2.;6':6;174#&8'4661  

28. coho (2) 29. coos (2) 30. cosy (2) 31. coys (2) 32. hebe (2) 33. hobo (2) 34. hobs (2) 35. hose (2) 36. hoys (2)

 

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19. bobs (2) 20. boho (2) 21. boob (2) 22. boos (2) 23. boxy (2) 24. boys (2) 25. cees (2) 26. ceps (2) 27. cobs (2)

 

10. hebes (3) 11. hobos (3) 12. hosel (3) 13. lesbo (3) 14. obese (3) 15. speel (3) 16. sycee (3) 17. beep (2) 18. bees (2)


1. bleeps (4) 2. cobles (4) 3. beeps (3) 4. bleep (3) 5. bohos (3) 6. boobs (3) 7. booby (3) 8. coble (3) 9. cohos (3)

Name: Address: number:  Telephone   

:*+)* 

(145#.'+02'4('%6%10&+6+10 %#0$'6'56'&#0;6+/'(+456 '#5; &4; 176&114 %*#+45 615''9+..$7;4+%'> 7+6#$.' (14 &1/'56+% #0& !'. %1//'4%+#. 75' 4+%' >      

Lightning strikes twice Lightning travels up to 87,000 mph (140,000 km/h). If the space shuttle could travel at those speeds, it would reach the moon in 2-and-a-half seconds. Lightning strikes the earth 100 times every second. The odds of being struck by lightning, though, is about 1 in 700,000. Even so, lightning often strikes the same place twice. And it strikes men about 7 times more often than it does women. Americans Carl Mize and Roy Sullivan should know. Mize was struck 4 times. Sullivan was struck 7 times; he lost his big toenail in 1942, his eyebrows in 1969, had his hair set on fire twice, and the other times suffered slight burns. Rainbows do occur at night It was previously thought that rainbows never appear at night. However, rainbows do appear at nightand is  rainbows or lunar rainbows. known as moon To see a moon rainbow, many conditions must coincide: 1. there must be a full moon, 2. the moon must be either rising or setting, 3. and there must be mist in the air because a rainbow is made up of the rays of the sun that are reflected inside raindrops – or, in this case, the rays reflected by the moon. Moon rainbows are a rarity; there have been only a few in the past 50 years. 

Tel: 086 8773635

Weddings, Private Parties, Communions, etc. Full Packages available, see Website for details Dance Floors - Bar Units - Toilets - Lighting - Tables & Chairs - Catering Nationwide Service

We make your dreams come true - to have a hell of a do... Marquees for all seasons: • Weddings • Shows • Race Meetings • Corporate Events • Parties • Staging, Dance Floor and Lighting Provided.

Birdhill, Co. Tipperary Ph: 061-379328 Mob: 086-2520576 Email:

Catered for You


OUTDOOR CATERING All Events Catered For

Weddings, Communions, Confirmations, Private Parties etc John Barrett Mobile: 087-9827298 Email:

CARNIVAL MARQUEES contact Niall on 086-1595093

Sligo Road, Ballina, Co. Mayo. Telephone: 086-3106632

• Par 3 Golf Course • Amusement Arcade • Go-Karting • New “Crazy” Golf • Budget accomodation B&B Just €15 per person

Tel: 096-76838

Just 5 mins from Ballina

MARQUEE & PARTY HIRE Weddings, Parties and Special Events We cover them all! Professional marquees all sizes including flooring, lighting, carpets, tables & chairs, heaters etc. tailored to your requirements.

CALL US FOR A FREE QUOTATION! Phone: 353 (0)96 32042 Mobile: 086-2692630 Farmhill, Kincon, Ballina, Co. Mayo




Ballina, Co. Mayo

entertainment guide



'up people! - The hair raising duo are back in The Royal Theatre Castlebar on Tuesday 14th February 2012 as the demand for Jedward concerts shows no signs of slowing down. The quirky twins John and Edward love them or hate them - have had an exceptional year in 2011, starting their own television series, becoming ambassadors for Childline, and the new faces of the 3 Mobile television adverts. After touring all over Ireland and Europe, performing in pantomimes, finishing in third place in Celebrity Big Brother, and coming in eight position in the Eurovision song contest, Ireland’s best result in the competition for the last eleven year, it’s no wonder the energetic pair are singing “Wow Oh Wow”, the third single from their album “Victory”. Shortly after the Eurovision, Jedward performed in front of an audience of 60,000 people at College Green in Dublin ahead of the speech by visiting US President Barack Obama. And now this dynamic duo are keen to get back and perform a brand new show for all their beloved fans, at their 10th appearance at the Royal Theatre on a very special night, Valentines! Tickets for the concert on the 14th February 2012 are now on sale through Ticketmaster and from the Royal Theatre on 0818 300 000 or


Due to the phenomenal success of the previous show at the Royal Theatre Castlebar, Friends in Low Places, which has been wowing Garth Brooks fans across Ireland for over a year now, returns for a Christmas show stopper on Friday 30th December. The show is fronted by well known country singer Trevor Smyth and features an array of top class musicians from around Ireland to make up the 8 piece band better known as “Friends In Low Places” and features an amazing stage production and brings with it an impressive visual element as well as the big sound of the live 8 piece band. “Boots & Hats” is a theatre show which brings you through the life and story of Garth Brooks, his rise to fame and most importantly his greatest hits such as “If Tomorrow Never Comes”, Friends In Low Places”, “The Dance”, “Baton Rouge”, “Shameless”, “Unanswered Prayers” and many more… Garth Brooks became the biggest selling solo artist of the 20th Century and he packed stadiums and concert halls around the world with his electrifying live

performances. You can expect the same electrifying show that Garth Brooks is renowned for with the state of the art light and sound production at “Boots & Hats” This show is a must see and is promised to offer you the next best thing to the man himself!

upstairs with ‘Joe Fury and the Hayride’. Friends In Low Places recently achieved 5 star status from Ticket Master based on the fantastic reviews left by fans who previously seen the show at the Royal Theatre, and 92% of those would recommend this to a friend!

“If you can’t make it to see Garth Brooks live, Friends In Low Places is as close as you’ll get to experiencing the country legend’s dynamic stage performances. This fond tribute show uncannily matches the great man’s country authenticity with an exciting standard of showmanship and stage-craft that are rare in modern country music.” Jackie Hayden - Hot Press Magazine

Absolutely amazing show!!! Will definitely go along again. If we can't have the real thing, this is a fantastic substitute!!! Excellent effects and got the crowd on their feet. Having Don Baker on harmonica was such a surprise. Can't rate this show highly enough to be honest - you have to go along to experience it yourself!

Not only that but the legendary DON BAKER makes a special guest appearance with his infamous harmonica skills. Don enjoys the show so much that he now features as special guest in all the shows on the “Boots & Hats Tour”. And the night doesn’t end there, for live music lovers, the ticket includes an after party

Tickets are available on as well as from the Royal Theatre Box Office on 0818 300 000. Tickets are €22.65, incl. booking fee other service charges may apply. For further information please check the Royal Theatre website on: or

Northwest Express 22nd December 2011  

Northwest Express 22nd December 2011

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