Tech breakfast in Dundalk tomorrow

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A tech breakfast will take place in Dundalk tomorrow morning.

Supported by Digital Dundalk, the free event will allow entrepreneurs, techies, developers, designers, business people and other interested parties share food and ideas.

David Norton will also be demonstrating a commercial aerial drone plus 360 virtual tour technology.

The breakfast takes place at 10am in Black and White Living at the North Link Retail Park.

For further information and to register, click here.

First batch of Tholsel Blonde on sale in peninsula pubs and restaurants

Denis Crompton, Chef/Owner of Magees Bistro, on Tholsel Street, welcoming the Tholsel Blonde to his menu

Denis Crompton, Chef/Owner of Magees Bistro, on Tholsel Street, welcoming the Tholsel Blonde to his menu

The Carlingford Brewing Company has released its first beer, the Tholsel Blonde, in local pubs ahead of the July 4th weekend.

Deliveries of the Belgian blonde beer were made to a number of pubs in the peninsula area yesterday, including Fitzpatrick’s, PJ O’Hare’s, McKevitt’s Village Hotel, The Bay Tree Restaurant and Magee’s Bistro.

Be sure to check it out if you are in the area at the weekend.

For further details on Carlingford Brewing Company visit www.carlingfordbrewing.ie

Coveney to investigate staging of harness racing at Dundalk Stadium

Dundalk Stadium

Dundalk Stadium

Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Simon Coveney is set to investigate the possibility of staging harness racing at Dundalk Stadium.

He said he will engage with the relevant organisations on the matter after Deputy Martin Ferris queried why the Irish Harness Racing Association’s bid to stage races in Dundalk were objected to by Horse Racing Ireland.

In his response Minister Coveney said the Irish Harness Racing Association only formed a limited company in May but were looking to progress the sport here, adding that it “could be a big sport and industry in Ireland, if managed properly.”

He said the association has applied for Ireland to become a full member of l’Union Européenne du Trot, UET, the umbrella organisation for national harness racing organisations in 22 European countries. This would open the way for Irish competitors to compete in Europe.

Deputy Ferris said it was his understanding that the French harness racing association is prepared to make a “significant investment and provide prize money” for three meetings in Dundalk if they can be arranged.

He said it was his understanding that a previous harness racing event in Dundalk was “quite successful” and questioned why Horse Racing Ireland would block future meetings.

The Sinn Féin representative said: “I have seen a letter sent to Dundalk race track from Horse Racing Ireland, stating the reasons it did not want harness racing to take place there, one of which was commercial, meaning competition. If that is the case, it is disgraceful.

“Horse Racing Ireland is an association for thoroughbreds. I do not accept that it has a right to do this, given that as a committee we allocate significant funding to it each year, as well as to the greyhound board. Many say HRI’s objections amount to bigotry and that HRI looks down on the sport. That in itself sends a wrong message.”

Minister Coveney confirmed there had been requests for harness racing meetings at Dundalk Stadium and said he would work with the relevant bodies to ensure a satisfactory conclusion to the matter.

Minister Simon Coveney

Minister Simon Coveney

In a written answer to Deputy Ferris, he said: “The Irish Harness Racing Association requested permission from Horse Racing Ireland to stage a number of harness racing fixtures at Dundalk racecourse, one in July 2015, one in December 2015 and three in January 2016.

“The association’s intention is that the first of these events would enable the French and European authorities to conduct an audit which would guide their consideration of the association’s bid for admission to the UET. I understand that, having considered the matter, Horse Racing Ireland decided that it was not within its remit to support the staging of harness racing at an authorised racecourse and that it had a number of concerns which it communicated to the Irish Harness Racing Association.

“Against that background, my Department has written to Horse Racing Ireland to ask if it would be prepared to reconsider the specific request from the Irish Harness Racing Association to hold the fixtures in July and December 2015 and in January 2016. I stress, however, that such decisions are ultimately matters for HRI and its board.

“I spoke to the chairperson of HRI about the issue on Saturday at the derby meeting at the Curragh. We live in a horse-mad country. Horse sports such as show jumping, eventing, racing and harness racing need proper structures and regulation to make sure we have it right from a welfare point of view and that we allow the sports to grow and expand in a managed, controlled, responsible and ambitious way. That goes for harness racing the same as it does for any other form of racing. I will engage with the organisations concerned to see if we can make some progress.

“There is an opportunity for us to build something, but we need to do it in the proper way and make sure the venues are right. Whether Dundalk race track is that venue needs further discussion. There is a commitment from me to try to have structures and regulations for this industry in order that we can deal with the welfare concerns many people have and the bad image of harness racing in the minds of the public which is unfair to the sport. We can do this if we work together,” said the Minister.

PayPal and eBay donate €33,000 to Irish charities

559624_ArticleImageNine Irish charities will receive funding totalling over €33,000 from the eBay Inc. GIVE Foundation.

The nine benefiting charities were all nominated by employees of PayPal and eBay, at their Dundalk, Blanchardstown and Ballycoolin offices, and their grant allocation was determined by the results of a vote carried out in PayPal and eBay. Almost 700 employees engaged in the voting process. 

The nine charities receiving funding through the eBay Inc. GIVE Programme are the Children’s Fund For Health, PAWS Animal Rescue, the Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Jack and Jill Foundation, Irish Red Cross, AsIAm.ie, DEBRA, Arthritis Ireland and Order of Malta. 

Yesterday a cheque was presented to the main beneficiary, The Children’s Fund for Health, which is set to receive almost €7,000 from the GIVE Foundation. The presentation was made by Louise Phelan, Vice President of Global Operations for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), PayPal and Hazel Mitchell, Site Director, eBay.

Site Director at eBay, Hazel Mitchell said: “The PayPal and eBay teammates in both Dublin and Dundalk work so hard to support their local charities, through volunteering, through donations, and through participating in the many fundraising activities that are held at our offices.

“I‘m delighted that the eBay Inc. GIVE Foundation can provide additional support to another nine Irish charities and I’m immensely proud of the amazing community spirit shown by our teammates in Dublin and Dundalk.”

Cross border broadband project badly “mismanaged”

broadband-internetA cross border broadband project, which was to deliver faster speeds to Dundalk, was “mismanaged” according to Stormont MLAs.

They found that a government department was more concerned with meeting grant-making targets than property examining claims for the broadband project.

Politicians in the north found that the cross-border high-speed Bytel scheme was appallingly mismanaged and claimed the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment’s oversight was unacceptable.

Equipment was bought for €1.3 million (£943,000) using public funds when the true value was €30,000 (£21,700), the Audit Office has said. The “virtually obsolete” apparatus was never used and the department lost €2 million (£1.4 million) after the EU withdrew funding.

The Public Accounts Committee (PAC) said: “Instead of properly examining grant claims to ensure they were appropriate and monies used properly, DETI were more concerned with internal pressures to meet grant expenditure targets.

“The committee has concluded that this was a fundamental failure on the part of DETI to meet its responsibilities.”

Public finances are under tight scrutiny amid major reductions in departmental spending and the crisis looming over the budget.

PAC chairwoman Michaela Boyle said: “The committee also found that investigations into what went wrong with the oversight of the project were completely inadequate, unacceptably delayed and did not go nearly far enough.

“Even at this stage, there has been no investigation leading to criminal proceedings.

“The appalling mismanagement of this project led to it delivering very poor value for money.”

The Belfast IT company behind the ambitious plan, Bytel, aimed to provide faster internet connections to homes in Belfast, Craigavon, Armagh, Dundalk and Dublin.

Although ineligible for funding, €1.3 million was given for equipment that was never used in the project, the Audit Office said. It was bought by Bytel from a “related” company, the audit office said, and evidence suggests it only cost €30,000.

The project, approved in 2004, was to be part-funded by the EU, but Europe withdrew because of irregular expenditure, DETI lost €2 million of EU funding and the Republic’s Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources sacrificed €1.8 million (£1.3 million).

Ms Boyle said: “The committee finds it very hard to believe that no one within the department has faced any disciplinary action for the many serious shortcomings in this project.

“This is not the first time that this committee has found poor management has cost the government vast sums of money.

“While we have been assured that management systems have been improved, we cannot afford, in this financial climate, to lose funding in this way.

“We are calling on the department, and indeed all government and non-governmental bodies, to implement rigorous systems to ensure that this cannot happen again and that those responsible are held accountable.”

Dundalk Discount store to close

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The Dundalk Discount store at North Link Retail Park, off the Coes Road, is to close its doors soon.

The store, located beside Frank’s Furniture, are currently holding a closing down sale with many items available from as little as €1.

Be sure to pop in between 9am to 6pm from Thursday to Saturday to grab yourself a bargain while you still can.

Lowfuelcard.ie to sponsor Irish PGA Championship in Dundalk

Brian Owens of Dundalk Golf Club, Michael McCumiskey, Secretary of the PGA in Ireland and Joe Barrett of Applegreen

Brian Owens of Dundalk Golf Club, Michael McCumiskey, Secretary of the PGA in Ireland and Joe Barrett of Applegreen

LowFuelcard.ie will sponsor the Irish PGA Championship at Dundalk Golf Club from October 1st to 4th.

The card is a new product offer by forecourt retailer Applegreen plc and while no figures have been released for what is initially a one-year deal with the Irish Region of the PGA, it is believed to be €30,000 with an option for further years.

The prize fund for last year’s event at Adare Manor was €29,450 and it is expected to remain at that level this year.

PGA in Ireland Secretary, Michael McCumiskey said: “This new sponsorship agreement is an important development for this historic championship. The PGA in Ireland looks forward to building a strong partnership with Applegreen over the coming years.”

Applegreen plc is the number one motorway service area operator by number of sites in the Republic of Ireland and has a growing presence in the UK.

The Group had 152 sites as of late December 2014 with 96 in the Republic of Ireland, 54 in the UK and four on Long Island in the USA.

Joe Barrett, Chief Operations Officer for Applegreen plc said; “We are delighted to be involved with this national event which engages with businesses in the locality.

“Applegreen have recently opened a motorway services area (MSA) at Templepatrick on the M2 outside Belfast and are currently building another MSA on the M1 south bound just outside Lisburn.

“Applegreen already has a significant business presence on the M1 at Castlebellingham, Lusk, Balbriggan and Gormanston.”

Dundalk Golf Cub has hosted the Irish PGA Championship on two previous occasions. In 1953, Harry Bradshaw collected his eighth title with a four round total of 272 and in 1969, Jimmy Martin won with a score of 269.

Redesigned by Peter Alliss and Dave Thomas in 1980, extensive improvements have been carried out to the 6,826-yard course over the last 18 months.

A number of new bunkers have been added but the main focus has been on redesigning and improving the drainage of the existing green side traps. A tree-thinning process has also opened up the sixth and 15th greens to the elements.

Last year’s Irish PGA Championship at Adare Manor Golf Club was won by Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney, who birdied the 18th to edge out Derry’s Michael McGeady and pocketed a cheque for €3,500.

Former No 32 Restaurant in Chapel Street up for sale

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The former No 32 Restaurant on Chapel Street has gone on the market with an asking price of €150,000.

The restaurant at 32 Chapel Street, which was operated by Susan Heraghty for 18 years, has been closed since the end of last summer.

The building, which occupies a pivotal corner position at the junction between Seatown, Market Street and Chapel Street, has been idle since then but is now up for sale through local estate agents Sherry FitzGerald Carroll.

According to its sales brochure, the two storey 60 seater restaurant benefits from dual entrances off Chapel Street and Market Street and is fully fitted out with a kitchen and dining area.

The ground floor has 800sq ft of space, while the first floor has a further 1,005sq ft.

For further details contact Sherry FitzGerald Carroll on 042 9332173.

 

 

DKIT Sport opens doors to the public

Dundalk FC duo Daryl Horgan and Ciaran O'Connor at the launch of DKIT Sport yesterday with manager Kelly Gaffney and DKIT president Denis Cummins

Dundalk FC duo Daryl Horgan and Ciaran O’Connor at the launch of DKIT Sport yesterday with manager Kelly Gaffney and DKIT president Denis Cummins

DKIT Sport officially opened its doors to the public for the first time yesterday.

Formally ‘JJB’, DKIT Sport was purchased in early 2014 for a cost of €3million. The facility will be managed by the Holohan Leisure Group and is located adjacent to the 90-acre DKIT campus at Dundalk Retail Park.

The state of the art sports facility boasts a 20 metre swimming pool, changing rooms, jacuzzi, steam room, gym area, an aerobic studio, 1 indoor cycling studio, 10 indoor sports pitches and a dedicated high performance strength and conditioning training zone. The high performance, strength and conditioning zone is specifically designed for increased team performance and is the first of its kind in Co Louth.

The gym itself includes the latest, brand new, gold standard,’Precor’ gym equipment. The indoor sports pitches will be available not only to students and staff, but to local sports teams, clubs and the public for recreational purposes. There will be catering facilities also.

The acquisition of DKIT Sport forms part of the development of a comprehensive Sports Strategy by DKIT that includes the Centre of Sport, Exercise and Health with the Institute now offering a range of sports related courses such as BA in Sport, Exercise and Enterprise, BA (Hons.) in Community Sports Leadership and B.Sc. (Hons) in Health and Physical Activity.

Members of Dundalk FC were amongst those who attended yesterday’s launch, as well as Dundalk IT president Denis Cummins, who said it was a “great day for Dundalk Institute of Technology and Dundalk as a town”.

He said: “Today is the soft opening of the new DKIT Sport and we will do another official launch in September or October when all of the students are back.

“We are now open to the public and have grown to over 600 (public) members over the last couple of days as well as the 5,000 students all being members too so it’s a great day for everyone to be involved in.

“We have all worked really very hard over the last year to get to this point and it is brilliant to see this wonderful facility back in business. We have 20 staff employed at the moment and that will increase as the numbers continue to grow.”

Further details can be found at www.dkitsport.ie

International Sea Trout Symposium on the way to Dundalk

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The second International Sea Trout Symposium will take place in Dundalk from October 20th to 22nd.

The event in the Crowne Plaza Hotel is targeted at scientists, managers and other fishery stakeholder interests in the public and private sectors, the central aim is to promote the wider application of an evidence-based approach to the future management and regulation of the sea trout and to ensure that its often very special needs become fully integrated into catchment management plans and environmental impact assessments.

This major event will build on the success of the first International Symposium on the ‘Biology, Conservation & Management of Sea Trout’ held in Cardiff, Wales in 2004. Its overall objective will be to promote the application of the latest science to the better management of sea trout stocks and their associated fisheries.

It will consider developments since the previous symposium, highlight the implications of the strategic gaps in our knowledge that currently limit our ability to manage the resource effectively and review priorities for future investigation.

The symposium is aimed at fishery scientists, managers, policy makers and other interested parties. It is planned to provide practical guidance to assist managers and regulators in the sustainable management of the sea trout resource and to ensure that they are fully integrated into any assessment of the impact of other policies, regulations and developments affecting their aquatic environment. While primarily focused on migratory sea trout, it will include non-migratory trout and other anadromous species where relevant.

Symposium topics will include:

  • Understanding Anadromy
  • Populations & Management
  • Movements & Migration
  • Ecology & Behaviour
  • Monitoring & Surveillance
  • Threat Assessment
  • Future management and research

Rates for the symposium start at €70 for the daily attendance package, with a basic three-day delegate package priced at €230 and the full package (including the gala dinner and a copy of the proceedings) at €330. A student delegate package for PhD and MSc candidates is available for €150.

The closing date for registrations is 4th September 2015. Details of the programme, accommodation and travel are available at the Sea Trout Symposium website.