Harry Lee to present LMFM show on Christmas Day

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Well known local broadcaster Harry Lee will present a special two hour show on LMFM on Christmas Day featuring extracts from his popular Gathering Heritage project, which he ran last year.

On the day LMFM will be playing selected highlights from the project audio archive including interviews with the likes of Jim Corr, Tommy Smyth, John Moore and lots more of Louth’s sons and daughters.

“We are only too happy to air this fascinating documentary especially at this time of year when people reminisce of times gone by,” said Eamonn Doyle from LMFM.

Specially narrated by Harry Lee the documentary will be a journey of personal stories guaranteed to make you laugh and cry. The project is seeking to expand in 2015 and listeners can contribute their own stories directly via http://www.gatheringheritage.com and via the Audio Boom app.

The show will air from 3pm to 5pm on Christmas Day so be sure to check it out.

Candlelit vigil in aid of suicide victims in Dundalk this evening

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A Light Up The Darkest Day Candlelit Vigil will take place at the Market Square at 7pm this evening.

The event is being held to remember those who have lost their battle to suicide and their loved ones who are left behind.

It is also hoped that the event will coincide with the launch of the Dundalk branch of Action for Suicide Prevention.

A choir will be in attendance at the event and a short non-denominational service will take place.

All are welcome to attend.

Dundalk Musical Society to host Jack and the Beanstalk next month

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It wouldn’t be the festive season without the Dundalk Musical Society and this year the popular group are staging ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ in An Táin Arts Centre at the Town Hall from January 6th to 11th.

The show features an amazing cast of local talent, with over 80 children and young adults taking to the stage as members of the chorus, whose singing and dancing will enchant audiences and transport them to the magical land of panto.

This year’s cast includes Helena Mullins as Jack, Niamh Craven as Jill, Patrick Browne as Lord Flatulant, Andrew Duffy as the Giant, Alan Doherty as Anto, Pierce McNee as Max, Nicky McCourt as The Dame, Paudie Breen as Deco, Deirdre Kenny as Fairy Ditzy and Craig McHugh as The Unbelievable Man.

Early booking is advised for each show, which takes place at 8pm each night.

Tickets are €12 with concessions of €10 available on Tuesday January 6th and Wednesday January 7th.

Matinee shows on Saturday January 10th and Sunday January 11th will also take place at 2.30pm, with tickets priced €10.

You can call to the An Táin Arts Centre booking office to buy them or get them online here.

McGahon commends Young Fine Gael for prioritising mental health

Cllr John McGahon with President of Young Fine Gael Dale McDermott, at the launch of Young Fine Gael's mental health policies

Cllr John McGahon (right) with President of Young Fine Gael Dale McDermott (left), at the launch of Young Fine Gael’s mental health policies

In welcoming the launch this week by Young Fine Gael of two policy documents on mental health, Fine Gael Councillor for Dundalk-Carlingford, John McGahon, has commended the organisation for bringing this issue to the fore.

In a statement, the Seatown man said: “Young Fine Gael’s new policies on mental health are relevant to everyone and will hopefully bring more awareness to the promotion of positive mental health.

“YFG’s new policies on mental health comprise a document for Government with 12 key recommendations on how we can improve mental health in Ireland, and an internal document containing a number of commitments to make the YFG organisation more mental health friendly.

“The statistics on suicide and self-harm sadly speak for themselves and the issue of positive mental health, while always relevant, is more important than ever. We must try and highlight this at every opportunity.

“YFG’s 12 key recommendations on mental health are being presented to Government to try to initiate legislative improvements in the area. They include; calling on the Press Council to develop guidelines for the media on the reporting of mental health and suicide, a counselling service available free of charge to students in schools, a specific compulsory curriculum on mental health to form part of the SPHE course at junior and senior levels, and dedicated curriculums on the issue of cyberbullying.

“If put into practise, YFG’s recommendations would go a long way towards normalising the conversation around mental health in Ireland.”

Adams expresses “grave concern” at overcrowding in Lourdes Hospital

The A&E of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital is frequently overcrowded

The A&E of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital is frequently overcrowded

Sinn Féin president Gerry Adams TD has expressed his “grave concern” at the increasing numbers of sick citizens who are confronted at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda with “chronic overcrowding and long waiting times.”

Describing the crisis in Emergency Departments as “unacceptable”, the Louth TD called on the Minister for Health to “take urgent steps to allocate additional resources, including funding, to open closed beds, recruit additional staff and provide for more community homecare nursing support”.

Commenting earlier this week, Deputy Adams said: “On two days of this week Our Lady of Lourdes hospital has topped the list of hospitals across the state facing serious overcrowding. On Tuesday the Irish Nurses and Midwifes Organisation reported that there were 38 patients in the Emergency Department – the highest in the state. And on Wednesday that number was 31 – again the highest in the state.

“Our Lady of Lourdes is regularly in the top three hospitals facing major difficulties in its Accident and Emergency department.

“We have also learned that the Louth Hospital Group General Manager has written to General Practitioners advising them that Our Lady of Lourdes is ‘experiencing extreme levels of surge with regard to medical presentations at present.’

“As a result the hospital has been forced to put in place ‘measures to manage this level of escalation internally.’ This includes advising GPs that the Louth Hospital Group is suspending ‘direct GP referrals to the Acute Medical Assessment Unit in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in order to prioritise current acute medical patient presentations and flow.’

“Earlier this week the INMO described the situation facing the health service as the ‘most significant overcrowding situation since the INMP began counting trolleys over ten years ago.’

“The Minister has the responsibility to ensure patient safety, as well as appropriate standards of care. He must take urgent steps to allocate additional resources, including funding, to open closed beds, recruit additional staff and provide for more community homecare nursing support”.

The Copper Kettle celebrates 10 years in business

Joan and Gerry Byrne of The Copper Kettle

Joan and Gerry Byrne of The Copper Kettle

The Copper Kettle in the Clanbrassil Centre are celebrating 10 years in business this weekend with the popular restaurant set to open on Sunday to mark the occasion.

It was December 21st 2004 when Gerry and Joan Byrne and family opened the Copper Kettle and it has served countless locals in between.

A live broadcast of the start of the celebrations was recorded on Dundalk FM this morning and there will be plenty of other surprises over the course of the weekend.

Gerry, Joan and family say they are “extremely grateful” to everyone who gave them custom over the years and helped the business go from strength to strength.

They also wish everyone a happy Christmas and invite them to call in over the course of the weekend to mark this landmark occasion.

Rotary Club of Dundalk to launch Tree of Remembrance in Earl Street this afternoon

Oliver Nixon, president of Dundalk Rotary Club

Oliver Nixon, president of Dundalk Rotary Club

The Rotary Club of Dundalk will open up their annual Tree of Remembrance in Earl Street this evening, with the tree set to remain there until Christmas Eve.

The launch of this year’s tree will take place at 5pm with a short interdenominational service.

The Tree of Remembrance gives an opportunity to members of the public to remember their loved ones by placing a ribbon on the tree with their loved one’s name on it. There is no cost but all voluntary contributions are welcome.

Ribbons will be available from 11am to 5pm daily at the tree and also at both the Long Walk and Tesco Extra Shopping Centres.

Rotary Club of Dundalk president Oliver Nixon said: “The Remembrance Tree offers a moment of reflection and a time to remember loved ones in a special way.”

Dundalk on Ice brings economic boost to town centre this Christmas

506327_143668_DundalkSquareOnIceLogo.jpgThe success of this year’s Dundalk on Ice experience has led to an economic boost for the town centre this Christmas season.

To date thousands of skaters, of all ages and expertise have taken to the Dundalk on Ice rink and with the benefit of being a fully enclosed real ice facility has made it the most successful rink Dundalk has played host to.

Planet Ice who operate Dundalk on Ice have remained true to their commitment to support the local economy and as far as possible have created seasonal employment locally via the rink’s construction, staffing, security etc.

Offering a family fun experience, families and friends not only arrive into Dundalk to skate, they stay to shop and socialise, creating a additional financial spend in the town.

Martin McElligott, Dundalk BIDS said that the success of this year’s Dundalk on Ice has gone beyond expectation.

“It has been fantastic to see so many people going into skating sessions, day in, day out, whether it’s families, school groups or friends meeting up.  The enclosed rink has meant that weather doesn’t deter people from coming along.

“Plus the feedback we are receiving from the neighbouring businesses is that people are staying in the town after their skating session be it to socialise in the coffee shops, restaurants etc or to carry out some Christmas shopping.

“Dundalk BIDs is just thrilled to have played a major role in bringing this year’s Dundalk on Ice experience to life.”

McDara Hosty of Planet Ice, is also very positive of the group’s first project in Dundalk.

“We are very happy with the way Dundalk on Ice is going. We found a great seasonal workforce here in the relevant areas. There has been a very positive attitiude to what we were doing from day one and I am happy to say that from what we are hearing, is that our facility on the Market Square is boosting Christmas trade, creating a win win situation for us all.

“Now, as the school holidays start we are looking forward to welcoming thousands more to Dundalk on Ice in the coming weeks.”

Dundalk on Ice will remain open each day at the Market Square until January 4th, with the exception of Christmas Day.

For further details re session times, opening hours, booking etc visit www.dundalkonice.com or the Dundalk on Ice Facebook page.

A Dundalk on Ice Box Office is located in Marshes Shopping Centre and of course, bookings can also be made at Dundalk on Ice at the Market Square

Dundalk on Ice is partnered with Marshes Shopping Centre, Dundalk BIDS, Dundalk Bureau de Change, iRadio, The Argus, Meridian Security Ltd, Long Walk Shopping Centre and Dundalk Tidy Towns.

Van set alight at entrance to Farndreg estate

Dundalk Fire Service were called to the scene of a small van on fire at the entrance to the Farndreg estate last night.

The Gardaí also attended the scene of the blaze, which was brought under control quickly.

The van was a write-off, with reports that it was abandoned there having sped through the estate.
Anyone with information on the incident is asked to contact Dundalk Gardaí.

Meanwhile, delays can be expected on Hill Street Bridge for the next while due to a crash there at 11.25am.