Brendan books place in Voice of Ireland quarter-finals

Brendan McCahey booked his place in The Voice of Ireland quarter-finals yesterday evening after impressing with a version of Roy Orbison’s hit ‘She’s A Mystery To Me’.

Brendan’s version of the song attracted huge praise from all judges and he collected a huge 25 points out of a possible 30 when they were scoring him.

Hailing from Shercock in Cavan, Brendan is well known in local music circles having worked for a spell in Beat-It Music in Blackrock where he often sold guitars to his current Voice of Ireland mentor, Bressie.

He gave a hugely impressive performance of The Strypes’ hit ‘You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover’ on the first live show and showed a different side to his talents last night.

Indeed, Brendan remains the bookmakers’ favourite for The Voice of Ireland title at 7/4, having been made favourite in the middle of last week.

Aoife Heffron, PR Executive at Boylesports, commented Brendan McCahey showed us a different side to him and it paid off as he remains the one to beat at 7/4.”

Louth has joint lowest rate of collection of commercial rates in the country

The offices of Louth County Council

The offices of Louth County Council

Louth County Council has the joint lowest rate of collecting commercial rates in the country, according to new figures.

It and Limerick City Council collected just 55% of commercial rates each in 2012, with auditors for Louth County Council saying that the decline in collection is “a serious matter for the council to address.”

In total, local authorities around the country failed to collect over €355 million in rates in 2012, with businesses struggling to pay for them due to a fall in business.

The figures for Louth and Limerick City do not reflect well on former County Manager Conn Murray who was located in both areas in 2012, starting the year in Louth before leaving to take up his new role on Shannonside midway through the year.

Stags bounce back in style in Dundalk and District Darts League

The Harry's Bar team

The Harry’s Bar team

There’s a saying that “there is no more dangerous animal than a wounded animal” and in the Tuborg Dundalk and District Darts League last week that animal was ” The Stags” who came back from a hard loss the previous week to the Avenue Eagles to inflict a comprehensive win on their most recent opponents, Stags Red.

The final score was 6-0 in a game which saw the very first leg of darts finished in 14 darts by Ray Campbell. This was the way things were to continue and with Martin Carvill also taking out a game in 14 darts. The Stags Red were having no joy despite throwing some exceptional darts.  Simon Wykes was in great from for the “Red team” but lady luck didn’t seem to be sitting in his corner on the night.

The Commercial 1896 team were at home this week and after dropping a point last week they are looking for number of other results to go their way if they have any chance of picking up the runners-up spot in the league.

They played a McEnteggart’s team who some would say have underachieved in the league.  The Vinegarman’s team has some very strong players with Mickey McMahon and Damian Smith being the most consistent throughout the league.

The game of the night saw Gerry Rice return after a week’s break and he faced Wayne Fry, a player who has taken some big scalps this year. The game was a festival of fine scores with at least one treble 20 being hit with every three darts. Rice was the winner on the night but he had to fight back after “The Fry man” took out the first leg in great style.

First Division

“No quarter given and no quarter gained” is the phrase that best describes the First Division title race. The Stags Green put a big dent in the Punters Sharks title hopes in a game that was rescheduled for Tuesday night because of the amount of players attending the PDC darts in the O2 in Dublin. It was a great game of darts but the green machine kept rolling and even though Hubert Smith threw some fantastic darts under pressure it was Mick Doyle who came out on top.

Paul Curran got a game back for the Sharks but this Stags team are in a great vein of form and with this 5-1 win they have maintained the pressure on Harry’s Bar, who had to host the Punters Dragons and try to keep in touch with the league leaders.

Harry’s had the advantage of knowing what they had to do to maintain the race. They have matched the Stags all the way, so much so that they equalled the Stags’ result this week with a 5-1 win over the Punters Dragon’s. Andrew Matthews has had a great season for the Dragons this year and he was the player who got the consolation game for the visiting team.

Second Division

The “Green Machine” is running well in the first division and the “Mighty White” are getting a great run going in the second division. Stags White played the Commercial Hawks and successfully clipped the wings of the hawks but it was a game where having “the darts” was not necessarily a help with every game going against the throw.

This game went right down to the last game of the night and it was the Chris McMahon who took the victory for the Stags White in a game that could have easily been a draw.

New website

This week Dundalk and District Darts League have launched their new website. This is another method for the league to publicise the achievements of its teams and players in a manner that may reach those who do not participate in the social media forums.

The website will include interviews with league captains and vice captains and will have a Hall of Fame to honour some of the players of the past.

The address for the site is www.dundalkandditrictdarts.weebly.com and all are encouraged to check it out.

The fixtures and results for the league are as follows:

PREMIER DIVISION

Week 18 27th-March-2014
Stags Black v BYE
Commercial 1896 5 v 1 Mc Entaggart’s
The Stags 6 v 0 Stags Red
Avenue Eagles 4 v 2 Jackie’s Army
Week 19 3rd-April-2014
Jackie’s Army v The Stags
Stags Black v Avenue Eagles
Mc Entaggart’s v Stags Red
BYE v Commercial 1896

FIRST DIVISION

Week 18 27th-March-2014
Courtney’s 3 v 3 Oriel Active
Stags Green 5 v 1 Punters Sharks
Harry’s Bar 5 v 1 Punters Dragon
Kehoe’s P v P Avenue Celtic
Week 19 3rd-April-2014
Avenue Celtic v Harry’s Bar
Courtney’s v Kehoe’s
Punters Sharks v Punters Dragon’s
Oriel Active v Stags Green

SECOND DIVISION

Week 18 27th-March-2014
Punters Tiger’s v BYE
Castle Knights 4 v 2 Malthouse Misfits
Johnny Mason’s 3 v 3 Ferguson’s
Stags White 4 v 2 Commercial Hawks
Week 19 3rd-April-2014
Commercial Hawks v Johnny Mason’s
Punters Tiger’s v Stags White
Malthouse Misfits v Ferguson’s
BYE v Castle Knights
The Premier Division table

The Premier Division table

The First Division table

The First Division table

The Second Division table

The Second Division table

 

Local comedian puts together comic sketch on Man Utd

Football fans the length and breadth of the country have been enjoying Manchester United’s fall from grace this season and now local comedian Alan Gernon has got in on the act by putting together a short sketch poking fun at the Old Trafford club.

The video starts in late March, with David Moyes being removed as manager and replaced by the unheralded ‘Seamus Cascarino’, who tries to recruit Steve Staunton as his assistant.

What ensues is a mess but some would say it can be no worse than what is really happening at the Premier League champions at the moment.

Alan, from Louth Village, has previously contributed sketches to a range of programmes, including MNS.

Dolan comes second in Moneymore

Cuchulainn's Liam Dolan (right) was just pipped to the finish line by Belfast rider Mark Millar on Saturday

Cuchulainn’s Liam Dolan (right) was just pipped to the finish line by Belfast rider Mark Millar on Saturday

Cuchulainn Cycling Club came agonisingly close to taking its first outright win of the season when Liam Dolan was second in the Ciclisport Grand Prix in Moneymore on Saturday.

Dolan was active from the start and got into the main break after 10 miles of the 60 mile race. Team mates Colm Quinn and Alan Gray, back in the bunch, hindered any chase efforts to ensure the break maintained its advantage. On the final run into the finish Dolan attacked the break and got away with Belfast rider Mark Millar, who unfortunately had too much speed for Dolan in the sprint finish.

Both Gray and Quinn were racing again on Sunday in north Dublin, a 75 mile race which featured seven ascents of the dreaded Nag’s Head climb. Both had solid days to finish in the main bunch. Stephen Carry, FPM Accountants League Winner in 2013, was also racing in the A4 event and came home just outside the top 10.

Sunday also saw the start of the Irish Veterans’ Cycling Association season, a league that has seen much Cuchulainn success over recent years. In the main race former National Champions Sé Weston and Martin Grey finished in the top 10. In the second race Aidan Delaney, Dale Copas, Enda McKeown and Brendan Dunne all had successful debuts, despite a mix up with the actual location of the finish line.

Thursday April 10th also sees the start of the FPM Accountants Summer Cycling League. The 18 round league is the stalwart of bike racing in North East Leinster and has been extremely successful in developing up and coming riders. The League run on a handicap basis caters for all, as evident from the fact that the 2013 winner, Stephen Carry was cycling less then a year, yet won a competition that featured some of Ireland’s best road cyclists and An Post Rás participants. Details can be found at www.dundalkcycling.com

Andrew owes his mother-in-law the gift of life after she donates a kidney to him

Andrew Gallagher and his mother-in-law Jacqueline Foster had their story featured in yesterday's Sunday Independent

Andrew Gallagher and his mother-in-law Jacqueline Foster had their story featured in yesterday’s Sunday Independent

Local man Andrew Gallagher will have been a busy man yesterday. Not only would he have had to source Mothers’ Day presents for both his mum and wife but he also would have owed his mother-in-law a special something after she gave him the gift of life recently.

The 29-year-old had a kidney donated to him by his 51-year-old mother-in-law Jacqueline Foster recently after discovering five years ago that both his kidneys were severely scarred and he would need dialysis.

He told the Sunday Independent yesterday: “When the doctor first told me I couldn’t even speak. I was frozen to the chair. I was waiting for my parents or someone else to say something first. I was only 24 years of age. I thought this type of thing happened to people later in life.”

While receiving dialysis treatment, Andrew married Jacqueline’s daughter, Nicola, in June 2011. The happy couple welcomed their baby girl Evie into the world since then while he was still receiving treatment.

It was around this time that his mother-in-law emerged as his saviour.

Andrew recalled: “I was on dialysis for two years when my mother-in-law went off and got checked to see if she was a match without telling anyone. I remember the day I was sitting in her kitchen having a cup of tea when the phone rang and she went off to take it in another room.

“She came back in with a big smile on her face and said ‘how are you fixed for November 4?’ I couldn’t believe it. She wasn’t even related to me. Only that I married her daughter I wouldn’t even know her.”

Andrew’s life was instantly transformed as a result.

“Within a week of the operation I felt like a new person. I couldn’t even climb the stairs beforehand I was so out of breath. It’s amazing the difference it made, almost immediately. We took a photo of the two of us leaving the hospital, bandages and plasters still on and when I look at that – it gets me. That’s when it sinks in what we have been through and what she has done for me.”

Andrew is now encouraging everyone to carry an organ donor card. You can read his fully story here.

Leinster Cup triumph for Coláiste Rís

Coláiste Ris Dundalk are celebrating their first Leinster U-14 Cup triumph after beating St Grennan’s College from Kilkenny in the final at Peamount in Dublin this afternoon.

The local school won the game 1-0, with Matthew Kirwan grabbing the crucial strike five minutes into the second half.

They now advance to the All-Ireland U-14 semi-finals.

Cuchulainn Credit Union to offer current account style facilities to members

logoA local credit union is one of a handful around the country set to take on the banks by introducing electronic payment options to its members.

Cuchulainn Credit Union on the Ramparts Road is one of a handful set to apply to the Central Bank for approval to offer debit cards.

This will mean that it will be able to offer an alternative to the current accounts currently offered in banks with people becoming more and more frustrated by the level of charges and fees for day-to-day banking services that are being charged by the likes of AIB, Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and others.

It is estimated that a family with two current accounts will pay €260 in fees and charges this year but this would be eliminated by a credit union account.

The roll out of the electronic payments infrastructure is already available in Carrickmacross and will come to Dundalk’s Cuchulainn Credit Union by the end of April.

This will allow members to have their wages or pension paid directly to their member accounts, with electronic payments able to be taken out for various bills and other direct debits. A debit card would also mean they could withdraw money when needed or pay at the till when paying for items.

Other credit unions are set to follow suit with 60 more set to follow in Cuchulainn’s footsteps by September according to the Credit Union Service Organisation for Payments (CUSOP), who are handling the roll-out of the new service.

Another store set to bite the dust in Clanbrassil Street

Sally-West-logo

Clanbrassil Street is set to lose yet another retailer after fashion outlet Sally West announced its decision to close.

The store at 57 Clanbrassil Street has sold a wide range of Irish and European women’s fashion labels in Dundalk for several years and also has stores in Cavan, Kilkenny and Gorey.

Now though, a closing down sale is in operation leaving yet another retail unit empty on what was once Dundalk’s premier shopping street.

The decision of Sally West to close follows hot on the heels of a similar announcement from Duffner Bros jewellers, who are holding a retirement sale at present.

Meanwhile, Campbell’s Jewellers in the Demesne also shut its doors for the last time on Saturday as the growing list of store closures continue to mount in the town centre. Other fashion outlets in the town centre to have closed already this year include Pulse Pacemaker in Park Street and Penneys in the Long Walk Shopping Centre

Lynch claims new world record after indoor success in Budapest

Brian Lynch celebrates his success in Budapest

Brian Lynch celebrates his success in Budapest

There were celebrations on the double for North East Runners athlete Brian Lynch on Sunday when he not only clinched the over 60s 1,500 metres title at the World Indoor Indoor Championships in Budapest but also set a new world record in the process.

Brian finished in a time of 4:26,72 to better the record time of 4:27,27 he had set in Athlone recently, which had knocked eight seconds off the previous record.

Well done to Brian on a tremendous feat.