My alarmingly shiny head was on TV3 on Thursday April 17th for the latest in my weekly regional newspaper review for Ireland AM. ‘Cagney and Casey’ brought you stories from the Offaly Topic, Mayo News, Clare Champion, Clare People, Meath Chronicle, Wexford Echo and The Avondhu.
Here’s the stories, as abridged and edited a little, but you get the idea. From next week, my regional newspaper review moves to Fridays! Looking forward to it…
1. OFFALY TOPIC — A wedding proposal in print!
There was quite a surprise in store for Rhode native, Victoria Murphy (23) last Wednesday, 9 April when she opened up a copy of the Offaly Topic to find a full page marriage proposal on page 3!
Victoria was treated to a day out in Athlone by her boyfriend Kevin O’Shea (25), and was completely unaware of what the Dublin native had in store, when he suggested they take a picnic on the lakeshore of Lough Ree beside the Hodson Bay Hotel.
Kevin spent 18 months trying to ask the most important question of his life. Having exhausted all ideas he came up with an idea of creating a full page proposal in his favourite local paper.
He told Victoria, who is a qualified hairdresser that he put in an advert into the paper to drum up some business. She quickly yanked the newspaper out of his hand and started searching for the ad.
However, it didn’t take Victoria long to notice the full page proposal complete with a report about the couple’s story, from first meeting to the moment Kevin realised that Victoria was the one for him.
When Victoria looked up, kneeling before her was Kevin, who produced the ring and asked her for her hand in marriage. Suddenly all of Kevin’s prior nerves, of which he says there were many, began to disappear. “She said yes!
“She was delighted with the surprise and she was very happy with the selection of the ring too. It went really well,” he commented.
Kevin recalled in his article for the special edition of Offaly Topic that it was whilst on a weekend away in Ennis in County Clare, sitting in a little wooden nook in a traditional public house, that he looked at Victoria and everything but her faded away into the background, even the traditional music. He remembered that he couldn’t stop smiling and knew from that moment that she was the one for him.“
2. CLARE PEOPLE — Guitar solo plucks wrong strings
THE actions of a mystery guitarist, who played a half hour long guitar solo on a small rocky outcrop in the Ennistymon cascades, have been described as “reckless” and “highly dangerous” by Clare’s most senior water safety official.
Clare County Council Water Safety Officer Liam Griffin, yesterday appealed to members of the public not to copy the bizarre incident, which he said could easily have lead to a fatality.
The incident took place on a rocky crag in the centre of the famous Ennistymon Cascades, beside the Falls Hotel, earlier this month. A man was seen to enter the cascades underneath the bridge in Ennistymon and play a Slash-style guitar solo in the centre of the river for around half an hour.
While no one was hurt in the incident, a photograph of the guitarist was released on social media last week — prompting Clare’s Water Safety Offi ce to issue a warning.
“This behaviour is both reckless and highly dangerous. I would appeal to the public not to imitate these acts as repeat acts of this nature will lead to a fatality,” said Mr Griffin yesterday.
The guitarist has been identified as a member of Clare band ‘Los Paddys de Los Pampas’ who intend to use footage of the guitarist for an upcoming music video. Band spokesperson Paddy Mulcahy, yesterday declined to identify the guitarist and claimed that the incident was safe.
“I can understand him not wanting to encourage folks to play non the waterfall, but what we did was perfectly safe,” said Mr Mulcahy.
“Of course we don’t want kids playing there, but recording a video of a guitar solo is different to playing. nIf we were running across the waterfalls just for a laugh, I’d say that would have been a bad example for people. But we went there for a single purpose, did it quickly, and then left.
“The video is a scene for an upcoming music video. The guitarist wanted an epic scene for his guitar solo in the middle of the song, so we decided the most amazing looking place we have on our door step was the falls in Ennistymon.”
3. MAYO NEWS - Could seaweed gathering be privatised?
There is controversy in Mayo with moves to privatise seaweed cutting along the coast of the county.
Arramara Teoranta is a state-owned body that is seeking permission to control the huge seaweed resource along the Western seaboard. At present, Údarás na Gaeltachta holds 100 percent of the company shares, and an act made in 1933 allows people to cut it.
According to the Mayo News, it seems that a private company from Canada is bidding for Arramara. Local politicians are concerned that if control of the licences is handed over to a private company then the people who have lived along the shorelines and cut seaweed will no longer be able to avail of this and other natural resources along the seashore.
“The danger is that this is just another feature of our lives which this government wants to sell off for privatisation,” sais Sinn Fein’s Rose Conway-Walsh.
There is great untapped potential along our coast for greater use of seaweed and for job creation by adding value to the potential harvest. Locals want harvesting and processing to be controlled by the communities living there by way of co-operatives or some similar community based approach.
A seaweed and foreshore licensing public meeting will be held in the Talbot Hotel, Belmullet tonight at 7pm and the matter is to be raised in the Senad.
4. WEXFORD ECHO — Thanks Brooklyn
Never has a town got so behind a major film. The Wexford Echo has reported for some weeks now on the filming of Brooklyn in Enniscorthy, with Niamh Devereaux on set (and even turning up for auditions) for the paper. This week, the town bids farewell to the film, as it decamps to Dublin and Montreal to finish shooting.
The paper devotes 5 pages to the farewell, which was beautifully marked by a Civic reception for all concerned at EnniscorthyCastle. Stars Saoirse Ronan and Domhnall Gleeson were among those attending a farewell bash at EnniscorthyCastle. The evening was held by Enniscorthy Town Council and Enniscorthy Chamber, who made a number of presentations to the cast and crew.
The paper reports the film ” HAS brought Enniscorthy back to life”. The Mayor said it had stimulated
the local economy “but most importantly it brought a feeling of happiness and pride back into our town.
Most people in the world know where Brooklyn is; we hope after seeing this film they will know where Enniscorthy is.”
The movie team wrapped up their time in Enniscorthy with work at St. Aidan’s Cathedral, and another at Curracloe – the first time filming has taken place at the beach since 1998’s smash hit Saving Private Ryan
The filming has seen a huge revival of interest in Colm Tóibín’s novel, which was adapted for the big screen by Oscar-nominated screenwriter Nick Hornby.
Tóibín initially told the story of Eilis (renamed Nora in the movie), a young woman who left Enniscorthy for New York where she finds love, before a tragedy brings her home and leaves her with a difficult decision to make.
The final product is scheduled to be in Irish cinemas in 2015.
5. MEATH CHRONICLE — Election candidate in promise ‘not to give a feck’
A locAl election candidate is raising a few eyebrows in Meath with his new ‘Don’t Give a Feck Party’ and his sole promise to “do nothing for you and my very best to do it!”
What started off as a joke for Duleek launderette-owner Dave Keaveney has spiralled into an election campaign after locals urged him to “run for real” when he pinned a mock poster up in his Main Street business.
His poster features a slogan: ‘Vote Dave no 1 for a cleaner Duleek’.
The tongue-in-cheek Roscommon native who has been running the Xtra clean launderette and dry-cleaners for 15 years, is well-known in the village for his humour and quick wit.
He said: “It started off as a joke. I made up the poster because I’m fed up listening to the same bull from politicians and the same electioneering promises that aren’t kept.
“Everyone who came into the shop thought it was brilliant and advised me to go for it. Sure, if I can put a smile back on people’s faces and not fill them with false hope, isn’t that what it’s all about?”
He now intends to run for election on 23rd May next as a non-party candidate in the Laytown-Bettystown local Electoral Area.
On his party’s Facebook page Dave includes a cheeky post of a scuba diver with the words: “checking out the potholes in the local area today.” Other comical posts include a list of three ‘wishes’, saying ‘Give Ireland back to England and apologise for the state it’s in. It’s fecked!’ and ‘Dogs fouling on the streets will be shot on shite’.
“If I can’t solve a problem, I’ll tell them why. I won’t say ‘leave it with me’ and never get back to them,” he adds. on a serious note, now that he’s decided to run for election, Dave would like to see more jobs in the area. “There’s tradespeople of all descriptions out of work in east Meath and I would love to see some small-sized companies come to the area and create jobs. “If I get elected, I’ll shake up the whole council chamber,” he pledged.
6. FARMERS JOURNAL + THE AVONDHU
IDB set to invest €30million — 50 new jobs
The Irish Dairy Board announced this week that they will be building a state of the art Kerrygold butter packing plant in Mitchelstown and the €30 million investment will bring with it 50 jobs for the town.
The plant will be located on a dedicated site at Dairygold’s Castlefarm and it forms part of the strategic investment plan to grow the Kerrygold brand post 2015. For 40 weeks of the year the plant will make butter and develop new butter products for the global market.
“The state of the art facility will support the future growth and development of the Kerrygold brand in a range of packing formats on a single site.
“The new facility will provide full supply chain integrity, will centralise NPD and innovation capability for Kerrygold and will be a dedicated Customer Centre of Excellence for the Irish Dairy Board. It will also play an important business continuity role for group operations,” a spokesperson for The Irish Dairy Board said.
The new plant will create 50 full-time jobs, but there will also be a great boost to the construction industry while it is being developed. It is a huge boost for the dairy industry in North Cork.