Category: Archive

Around Ireland: Happy New Euro!

February 16, 2011

By Staff Reporter

By Stephen McKinley

Euro day arrived in Ireland without any major hitches, and all of the media reported general excitement and acceptance among the public for the new currency. There were reports in the Irish Times of bars refusing euros on Jan. 1 and favoring punts still, but the euro has clearly permeated every corner of the entire country.

At Dublin’s Connolly Station, a radio reporter interviewed dozens of Northern Irish residents disembarking from the train for a day out in Dublin. Most said that the new currency was at the very least an interesting and fun new complication to a day’s shopping.

Many agreed that the clock was now ticking for the inevitable moment when the UK will have to join the euro zone. And, lowering her voice, one County Antrim woman explained to the reporter about her Southern neighbors: “They’re all so excited with their new euros, God love them!”


A miscalculation led to Upper Achill residents in Mayo not receiving their euro calculators.

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The government distributed the free calculators to every household in time for the euro changeover — except, it seems, some Achill residents.

Deputy Enda Kenny told the Western People newspaper, “Apparently there was a miscalculation in the estimated of households numbers with the result that areas like Saula, Cashel and other townlands in the Upper Achill area have not received any euro calculators.

“This is an area with a high proportion of elderly people who are clearly confused about the Euro changeover on Jan. 1.

“I have this morning contacted the euro Changeover Board as a matter of urgency to determine what number of households have not received calculators and to make arrangements to have them distributed to these households before Jan. 1,” Kenny added.


Not just a new currency for the people of Sligo town this New Year — a new courthouse as well.

After a _5.5 million refurbishment, the first hearing will take place on Jan. 17. Gillooly Hall, the District Court’s temporary home for two years, will see two more sittings.

Four new courts will be opened on Jan. 17, instead of the original two. The High Court, which moved to Letterkenny, will also make its return to Sligo.


Donegal fishermen opinion has been inflamed by the attitude of European Union Fisheries Commissioners, who accused fishermen in the county of “dragging their feet,” when it came to policing and enforcing of territorial fishing areas.

The Marine Times reported that EU commissioners accused Ireland, Greece, Italy, Finland and Sweden of having staff “that have a blatant lack of training and experience in control and monitoring.”

In response, a Marine Times editorial lashes out at the commissioners, saying that Ireland’s formerly rich fishing grounds have been raped and plundered by Spanish pirates for years.

“And just to set every one teeth on edge, the European Fisheries Commission have in the report praised Spain and ‘singled her out for praise for improved fishing effort monitoring in the context of the EU Western waters program,’ ” the editorial added.


Controversial Dublin Judge Peter Kelly has refused to lock up a boy who has escaped from detention 26 times.

The Northside People newspaper reports that the High Court judge was told by the Supreme Court that he can’t force the government to provide juvenile prison places earlier this week. The judge said there was no point in locking the boy up as he comes and goes as he pleases.


In Fermanagh, Kris Farrell beat off stiff competition in the new Harry Potter lookalike competition.

Twenty other competitors failed to impress the judges quite as much as Kris, who received a free pair of glasses of his choice and _30 worth of Harry Potter merchandise from Specsavers optometrists. The Impartial Reporter also sponsored the event.


Cork’s two Bishops issued a joint Christmas message this year. The Church of Ireland bishop of Cork, Cloyne and Ross, and the Roman Catholic bishop of Cork and Ross joined forces to tell their flocks that 2001 has been a year that tested faith to breaking point.

The message read in part: “When we started out on the year 2001, we were not to know how vulnerable many of us would feel as we approach its end. It’s a vulnerability that has emerged from several crises — foot-and-mouth; Sept. 11; the war in Afghanistan; the deterioration of the situation in the Middle East and the economic downturn. Even then, perhaps we do not come close to the insecurity of many who are poor, hungry, homeless, ill, dying or bereaved.

“Christ’s birth is our assurance that our hope is not in vain. It is to him we turn for this hope and peace, joy and fulfilment. May these, his gifts to you, be yours indeed this Christmas.”


Autistic twins from Waterford have extended their treatment in the U.S., where they will stay until at least next September.

The twins, who won the hearts of many Waterford residents, will experience an intensive educational intervention program known as ABA — Applied Behavior Analysis — which is hugely beneficial to children with autism.

Tara and Etain Fitzgerald, from Kilmeaden, were originally to stay for three months. Funds raised by locals back home now mean that the twins will stay for a much longer range of treatment. The Munster Express reports that _110,000 has been raised to date.

“When we came out we were almost expecting miracles, but in retrospect that was totally unrealistic,” said the twins’ father, Michael.

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