By Stephen McKinley
The Divine Comedy, three of whose members are from Fermanagh, is to break up after the end of its tour of France, the UK and Ireland.
The seven-piece band was for a time one of the most popular live acts in the UK, with 11 top 40 singles.
The Fermanagh three met at Portora Royal School, which sits on a hill just outside of Enniskillen, where Oscar Wilde and Samuel Beckett were also educated.
A week after the split as rumored, the band still released a new single, “Perfect Lovesong.” Then the news was officially released on the band’s website.
“It is with great sadness that we would like to confirm the rumors regarding the breakup of the band,” the message read. “The Divine Comedy have been performing and recording as a seven-piece band for the last four years but it has been decided that the forthcoming UK, Paris and Ireland tours will be the last for the band in its current lineup. Neil, as the Divine Comedy member signed to Parlophone, will continue to record for the label.”
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Seventy skeletons were found during construction work at the site of the new North Western Health Board office in Manorhamilton, reports the Leitrim Observer.
The remains were taken to Limerick, where a specialist paleopathologist unit will examine them. It is thought that they are the bodies of poor people who died in a workhouse and were simply buried in unmarked graves.
“Through the tests specialists should also be able to determine if these individuals were suffering from certain diseases or deficiencies, such as osteoporosis,” explained Declan Moore, pathologist.
“Although they won’t be able to tell us exactly when each individual died, they will at least give us a good indication of the standards of nutrition and conditions of inmates at the workhouse.”
A report will be written and made available for the people of the area to read within 12 months.
Sausages are sizzling in Wexford. The Enniscorthy Echo notes that Hugh Corrigan, a butcher, will be a finalist in the National Butcher’s Sausage Competition, a new award program launched last month to celebrate the versatility of the Irish sausage and the variety of sausages crafted in Ireland.
“Superb sausages are most of all to be judged by their taste, but true champions will be assessed for texture, appearance, linkage and how they cook,” said Biddy White-Lennon, of the National Judging Panel.
NUN LEAVES HEADFORD
The Presentation nuns have left Headford after 95 years of service to the town.
As numbers in the convent dwindled to one, the order decided to leave and move from Meadow Hill Convent, Headford, to the Presentation Convent in Riverside, Co. Galway. The occasion of the order’s departure, however, was not all sad — townspeople gave the order a joyful and celebratory sendoff, thanking and praising God for the 95 years of dedicated service. Many of the Presentation nuns had taught in local schools during their time in Headford.
At a celebration Mass, Fr. Richard Gibbons gave a brief history of the Presentation nuns in Headford. He recalled that when the nuns first arrived, their entire bodies, including their hair, were covered by their habits. Many young children later recalled wondering whether the nuns had legs or even hair.
He also raised laughs when he told the story of how, when the Presentation nuns played camogie, they would use their habits to block the goal or deflect the ball.
“Headford parish really appreciates all that the Presentation nuns have given to the town, and although their presence is gone, their spirit will remain forever,” he told the Tuam Herald.
A Letterkenny conference heard last weekend that depopulation of the western edges of County Donegal is continuing apace, the Tirconnaill Tribune has reported.
The council has urged the Ireland government to take account of Northern Ireland when implementing the National Spatial Strategy, which deals with the concerns around depopulation.
County Manager Michael McLoone said that NSS did not reflect a true picture of the county, as it did not take into account the proximity and economic and social ties with Northern Ireland.
“Our natural hinterland is with Northern Ireland as our transport is heavily tied in with North,” McLoone said. “The main road from Dublin, N2, passes through Tyrone, while the main airport in the region is Derry and the main port is Larne.”
He noted that Cork, Galway, Limerick and Waterford were selected as centers of development because they were the four largest cities after Dublin in the Republic.
“But if you look at the island of Ireland, Belfast is the second biggest city and Derry is the fourth largest,” he said.
DERRY RAVE WRECKS FACTORY
The Derry Journal reports that an illegal Halloween rave was held at the former Hawkesbay factory building in the city, leaving the building in ruins the morning after.
Every window was smashed after hundreds of young revelers descended on the building and ransacked it during a drink-fueled dance orgy, the paper said.
One angry local man said, “We went into the city center to see the fireworks and the fire eaters and it was a brilliant night until we came home and went to bed only to be wakened by these eejits.”
Disused office equipment from the upper levels of the building was hurled from windows on to the surrounding streets. Another local woman said: “Some of the young people don’t seem to think it’s time to go home until their legs leave them. It appears that we have developed into a culture of excessive drinking. These incidents are particularly distressing for older people. There is absolutely no excuse for it.”