The Market Bar prepares for Bank Holiday weekend Fiesta

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The Market Bar in Clanbrassil Street are hosting an August Bank Holiday weekend Fiesta from Friday to Sunday.

There will be food and drink specials over the course of the weekend as well as music from 10pm on Saturday and Sunday.

There will be no cover charge for any of the events.

Government confirm that Narrow Water Bridge project will not proceed

An artist's impression of the Narrow Water Bridge

An artist’s impression of the Narrow Water Bridge

The last remaining hopes of rescuing the Narrow Water Bridge project appear to be dead in the water after the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe confirmed in a Parliamentary Question that the construction of the bridge will not now be proceeding as planned.

The bridge – which was to link Omeath and Warrenpoint – looked to be going ahead last summer until Louth County Council were forced to pull the plug on it due to estimates for its constructions coming in far greater than they had estimated.

That led to EU funding being withdrawn and while several attempts have been made to salvage the project, it now looks doomed.

Commenting on the matter, Fianna Fáil TD for Louth, Seamus Kirk, expressed his disappointment at the government’s decision not to proceed with the bridge.
He said: “I am extremely disappointed that the Government has decided to shelve this project, which was seen by many as a further enhancement of cross border relations.  The project not only represented a new era in north-south affairs, it would have had a radical impact on tourism in the region.

“The Government has refused to allocate additional funding to allow the project to proceed, a decision which I believe is extremely short-sighted.  The construction phase alone would’ve created jobs and brought much needed investment to the local economies on both sides of the border.  It would also create a new tourist attraction in an area that has been neglected for decades.

“Tourism in the Cooley Peninsula and Mourne Mountains, which is a beautiful part of the country, is severely under-developed, primarily because the connection between the two areas is completely inadequate.  The Narrow Water Bridge would’ve filled that gap and given a major economic boost to the region.  The loss of this project is extremely unfortunate and is a lost opportunity.  It has been extremely challenging to encourage investment into this area, and the level of public money spent there remains at relatively low levels.

“Fianna Fáil has been a consistent advocate of this project and after so much progress was made in terms of planning and securing funding from Europe, it is a tragedy that it is being scuppered at this advanced stage.

“I believe more of an effort should have been made by the Minister and his Department to secure a suitable package, which could have been used to draw down the EU funding.  This current project has been in the pipeline for over 5 years, and unfortunately it now appears as if the plan will be scrapped because of the Government’s refusal to work with the Northern Ireland Executive to provide additional funding.  This is a major blow for the residents who were so supportive of the project, for cross border relations and for the local economy,” said Deputy Kirk.

Local MEP to host celebration night in Carrickmacross tomorrow

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Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy will mark his recently election to the European Parliament with a celebration night this Friday at the marquee behind Fiddler’s in his native Carrickmacross.

The night gets underway at 8pm with music by ‘The Big Easy’.

Admission is free and all are welcome to attend.

The same venue will also host a weekend of entertainment over the Bank Holiday weekend with the Farney Country Music Festival taking place.

Nathan Carter will perform on Saturday, Derek Ryan on Sunday, followed by Mike Denver on Monday. Admission to all three of those shows is €15.

Dundalk IT accommodation list now available

One of the on-campus accommodation units at Dundalk IT

One of the on-campus accommodation units at Dundalk IT

Students planning to attend Dundalk IT next year can start their search for accommodation now.

The college’s accommodation list went live this morning with the list being updated regularly and houses being added daily.

For on-campus accommodation queries, call on-site caretaker Declan on 085-1423059.

For other queries contact Brian Fitzpatrick on 085-2781462 or Paddy O’Rourke on 085-2781451.

You can download the list from here.

Dundalk Dog Rescue to host annual Picnic in the Park event next month

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Dundalk Dog Rescue will host their annual Picnic in the Park event at Ice House Hill Park on Sunday August 17th at 2pm.

Kicking off at 2pm, this year’s event promises to be a memorable day out for both you and your dog.

Entrance is free and there will be plenty of events on the day including horsehose throwing and duck fishing for kids.

A range of other competitions will also be held including Most Obedient, Waggiest Tail, Like Their Owner, Cutest Crossbreed and Most Disobedient.

Dowdallshill GF&AC golf classic next month

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Dowdallshill GF&AC will hold a golf classic in Ashfield Golf Club in Cullyhanna, Co Armagh on Saturday August 30th.

The four ball scramble is €120 to enter for a team and food will be served on the day.

There will be a presentation night later that evening in The Lisdoo with prizes for ladies and gents, the longest drive and nearest to the pin.

For tee-off times contact Pat at 087-2592422.

Delayed payment for public service staff this morning

BOI_Spon_logo[Ulster Rugby]Bank of Ireland has confirmed it is experiencing technical difficulties which have resulted in funds not going through to the bank accounts of some civil servants, teachers and gardaí.

The problem is affecting both staff locally and nationwide.

The bank says payments to staff at the Department of Justice and Department of Education should be processed tomorrow morning.

It is still working to resolve the problem.

AIB says it has been advised that there is an issue with incoming credit transfers from Bank of Ireland.

Work begins on Kearney brothers’ Dublin 4 pub

Work is underway at Bellamy's at present to get it ready for its opening

Work is underway at Bellamy’s at present to get it ready for its opening

The Kearney brothers – Rob and Dave – have moved a step closer to becoming publicans after it was revealed that work has begun on the D4 pub which the pair have purchased along with their Leinster and Ireland teammates Sean O’Brien and Jamie Heaslip.

The quartet had a €1.35m offer for Bellamy’s pub in Ballsbridge accepted in February with Rob Kearney revealing on Twitter earlier this week that “work is under way in Ballsbridge, exciting times ahead!”

Reports earlier in the summer suggested that the players hoped to have the pub open in September following refurbishment.

The name of the bar will change, with Heaslip and Kearney encouraging people to guess the new name for the pub via Twitter with the hashtag #guessourpubname.

A prize of four tickets to a Leinster home match and four invites and a bottle of champagne to the opening have also been offered up for those who guess correctly.

The public house is located just a stone’s throw from the Aviva Stadium and also close to the RDS, right in the heartland of rugby in Dublin’s southside.

 

Glyde Rangers to host Junior Louth’s Got Talent contest

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Glyde Rangers GFC are set to host a talent show called ‘Junior Louth’s Got Talent’ in their clubrooms in Tallanstown in September.

The first round of auditions will take place between 2pm and 4pm on Saturday September 13th with the competition open to all types of performing acts, up to the age of 16.

Both solo and group acts are permitted to enter with a prize fund of €1,500 up for grabs on the day.

For further details or entry email glyderangersgfc@gmail.com

Kirk describes latest PSO levy increase as unfair and unjust

Seamus Kirk TD

Seamus Kirk TD

Fianna Fáil TD for Louth Seamus Kirk says the latest increase in the PSO levy will put additional financial pressure on families across Louth.

Earlier this week, the Commission for Energy Regulation confirmed that it had approved a 50% increase in the tax, which will see the average household bill increase from €42.87 per customer to €64.

Deputy Kirk commented: “This latest price hike is certain to make it more difficult for many families across Louth to keep on top of their already high bills.  The PSO charge, which subsidises the renewable energy sector, was already increased last year, and now the CER has decided to raise it again.  The latest increase sees the charge tripling within a three year period, which is a completely unsustainable and unfair situation for householders to find themselves in.

“It is completely unacceptable that the Regulator would approve another increase in light of the disproportionately high energy prices Irish households and businesses are charged.  Gas and electricity prices here are among the highest in Europe and are rising at a much faster rate than the EU average.  Irish customers have been subjected to sustained price increases over the past three years, all of them approved by the CER.

“The role of the CER is to protect the consumer, but there is little evidence of this in the consecutive gas and electricity price increases that have been slapped on energy customers in recent years.  Earlier this year, the regulator in the UK wrote to power companies in Britain asking them why wholesale gas and electricity price reductions were not being passed on the consumer.  The regulator here should be asking similar questions, and outlining why he continues to approve increases.

“The proposed increase in the PSO levy will add €21.50 a year to an average household bill.  This comes on top of the €300 hike in energy bills that has accumulated over the past three years.  Families in Louth are already being squeezed by these extortionate price rises and it is becoming increasingly difficult for them to stay on top of their bills.  Consumers should not have to pay over the odds for gas and electricity at a time when semi state energy providers are turning huge profits.  In 2013, the ESB reported a profit after tax of €415m, a 23% increase on the previous year.

“It’s completely unfair to expect families across this county to subsidise profitable energy companies.  Once again we see ordinary people pushed to the limit with another tax increase.  Energy Minister Alex White needs to step up where his predecessor failed and address this important issue before the levy is increased in October.”