These brave people should be able to live and work without fear





It’s Tuesday of last week, and, unusually for me, I find myself watching Clare Byrne Live on RTE 1. In truth, it was an absolutely riveting programme, the highlight being an interview with Newtowngore businessman, John McCartin.

  The definition of a hero in the Collins Dictionary is “someone who gives of himself, often putting his own life at risk, for the greater good of others”, and in my opinion if I ever saw a hero, it was the Leitrim man, whose involvement with Quinn Industrial Holdings (QIH) has led to every possible kind of intimidation, threat and personal vilification, and whose own safety must now be a matter of major concern to himself, his family, and the Gardai.

  The world and its mother knows of the unprecedented and barbaric assault a few weeks ago on Kevin Lunney, a director of QIH. Since their takeover of the Quinn Group, all five directors have endured threats and intimidation from unidentified individuals who are apparently unhappy with their involvement in the running of part of the former Quinn empire.

  And yet, on the Clare Byrne show, Mr. McCartin reiterated his commitment to saving the hundreds of jobs that QIH currently provide in the Cavan/Monaghan area. He said he will not be bullied into giving up on their ‘project’, and despite wondering as he drove back from Dublin as to what or who might be waiting for him on his arrival home, he has no intention of being forced from his right to carry on in business in his own local area. 

  Sometimes a seismic event occurs – such as the murder of Veronica Guerin in June 1996 – that changes the whole face of police work in the country, and we can only hope that the unbelievable level of violence that was perpetrated on the unfortunate Mr. Lunney is another such moment, and that the full force of the law will be used to apprehend and punish the people who did the horrendous deed.

  All the indications so far are that there is indeed a similar policing reaction. I hope, firstly, that it continues, and secondly, that Mr. McCartin and his family, and all the other directors, can finally live in peace – free from fear – and carry on with normal living. Surely, it’s not too much to ask?

Excellent work on Tidy Towns’ front

Many times over the years I have touched upon the importance of the sense of community in local areas. This week the Tidy Towns awards have once again been given out, with Glaslough in Co. Monaghan taking the top honours, and our neighbours Castlecoote winning a Gold Medal in the Village category.

  To date (as I write) I don’t have the marks for our own village of Creggs, but one thing I know for sure is that the local tidy towns committee have done Trojan work all year to turn Creggs into a place we can all be proud of. It has been transformed by their efforts over the last few years.

  For more than 60 years the Tidy Towns competition has been in existence. It has grown bigger and better every year, and nowadays there are hundreds of entrants, with almost 1000 towns and villages from all over the country taking part. The awards are a welcome recognition for the winners, but in truth all the participating communities are winners in their own right.


Great drama in Kilbegnet!

Last weekend, the Kilbegnet Drama Group staged a wonderful version of John B. Keane’s ‘Sive’, with full houses reported on both nights. Now I suppose I would be biased, but in my opinion the production was absolutely top class, and the packed audiences thoroughly enjoyed the performances.

  There were nine actors involved in the play, and each and every one of them was superb. The truth is that they were all brilliant at what they did, and it would be wrong to pick anyone out as the star of the show.

  That said, if only for longevity of service, I have to give special mention to Seamus Keane, a man whose contribution, in every way – from sport to drama and even politics – is legendary in our neck of the woods, and whose wonderful acting skills show no sign of diminishing.

  All I can say is, well done to all involved, and if by any chance you missed the weekend shows, don’t worry…it will be on again somewhere local before the Christmas. I’ll keep readers informed.


And finally…


Finally for this week, the inclement weather has meant that our ticket selling for the fundraising dance has been slightly curtailed, with the last two Mondays both rained off. However, we are determined to get to as many houses as we possibly can before the 12th of October, so bear with us and we will try to visit you all. There will also be tickets at the door on the night. 

  The good news again this year is that the Grealy family from the renowned Abbey Hotel have given us a door prize of a Dinner for Two in their fabulous hotel. To win this superb prize you must be present at the dance on the night – all we ask you to do is to write your name on the back of your ticket and give it to us on your arrival in Dowd’s.

  Jimmy Kearney and The Lancers are mad to get you dancing, so don’t forget…Saturday, 12th of October in Dowd’s, Glinsk…and the Lourdes Invalid Fund and Cancer Care West will benefit from your generosity.


Till next week, Bye for now!