South Monaghan Sinn Féin Councillor, Matt Carthy, has said that the significant increases in the costs of motor fuel over the past three years have proved to be a massive burden on families.  He also challenged Fianna Fáil 'game-playing' on the issue saying that they were responsible for the bulk of government sponsored fuel price increases as well as for bringing the economy to its knees.

Cllr. Carthy said:  "The massive price of fuel is causing severe hardship on many families.  In counties like Monaghan people have little choice butb to use their cars and every increased in the price of petrol and diesel is keenly felt." 

"That the price rises are happening in the middle of a recession makes matters worse.  Unemployment, emigration, mortgage distress, financial hardship and poverty are the human consequences of the austerity policies of spending cuts and tax hikes."

"These policies, introduced by Fianna Fail are now being continued under the current Fine Gael Labour administration."

"In last December’s budget Fine Gael and Labour added 1c on a litre of fuel.  But in the three years before that Fianna Fáil added a massive 14c on the litre of petrol and diesel.  They added 7c in 2009, 4c in 2010 and 3c in 2011."

"Nobody should be under any illusion, if Fianna Fáil had been in Government last December they would have increased fuel excise once again and Fianna Fáil TD’s and Councillors would have defended the move just as they did the increases from 2009 to 2011."

"It is becoming clear that on the major issues facing our country, Fianna Fáil, Labour and Fine Gael have a consensus and share the same policies."

"Sinn Féin has consistently refused to join the consensus for cuts and regressive taxes."

"And on every occasion we provided detailed costed alternatives to promote growth, jobs and equality."

"Sinn Féin strongly supports any measure that lifts the burden of austerity off the shoulders of struggling families and businesses.  A key component of this should be government agreement to reduce the cost of petrol and diesel which would ease the burden on ordinary families"

 

South Monaghan Sinn Fein Councillor, Matt Carthy, has described the government proposal to bill households for the huge cost of installing water meters as ‘absolute lunacy’ and said that any attempt to enforce such a charge will be fiercely resisted.

Cllr. Carthy said “Fine Gael and Labour must be deluded if they cannot see that many ordinary families are already struggling to make ends meet.  I am talking to people on a daily basis who are finding it difficult to meet mortgage payments, electricity and gas bills and the other costs associated with running a home.  For those who have not already reached breaking point the very notion of an additional charge will be devastating.

“The news that the government wants to charge for the installation comes on top of mounting opposition to septic tank and household charges.

“The government should have learned by now that people cannot accept any more stealth charges.  The reports this week show that Fine Gael TD’s have no idea of the hardship faced by their constituents.  The suggestion that the householder will be forced to pay for the full cost of installing water meters is lunacy.  This is before householders receive any bill for use of water and proves that this measure is more about collecting moneys to pay-off banks and bondholders that it is about water conservation.
“For the record Sinn Fein fully supports the upgrading of the water system.  With leakages up to 40%, investment should be the priority.
Sinn Fein believes that water metering and water charges are wrong. They will do little to prevent the water crisis this country faces.  What we require is investment and an all island approach to water conservation”.

Cllr. Carthy continued: “The installation of water metering is costly and hugely disruptive.  Yet it will do nothing to improve our water system. Neighbourhood metering is a far more cost effective measure which should be rolled out across the board”.

Feile Patrick Byrne 2012

Taking place from Thursday, 29th March - Sunday, 1st April 2012

Thursday, 29th March 2012
Venue: The Shirley Arms Hotel, Carrickmacross
8.00pm: Official Launch by Meara Bhaile, Carraig Mhachaire Rois
8.30pm - 10.00pm: Public Lecture, 1912 - 1922 Monaghan Anniversaries, by Prof. Terence Dooley, NUI Maynooth
Admission Free

Friday, 30th March 2012
Venue: St. Finbarre’s Church (Church of Ireland), Carrickmacross
8.00pm - 9.30pm: Harp recital with Michael Rooney and Carrickmacross Comhaltas harp group

Venue: Markey’s, Carrickmacross
10.00pm - 12.00am: Seisiún na Mhúinteoirí - All county CCÉ music teachers session
Admission Free

Saturday, 31st March 2012
Venue: The Court House, Carrickmacross
11.00am - 12.30pm: Historical walking tour of Carrickmacross with emphasis on sites relevant to Patrick Byrne (in conjunction with Carrickmacross Chamber of Commerce)
Admission Free

Venue: Scoil Rois, Carrickmacross
10.00am - 10.30am: Workshop Registration (confirmed tutors in brackets)
10.30am - 1.30pm: Classes in Harp (Michael Rooney), Uilleann Pipes (Chris McMullan), Fiddle (John Carty), Button Accordion (tbc), Banjo (Brian McGrath), Flute (Séamus O’Donnell), Bodhrán (tbc) and Tin Whistle (Clare McKenna)

Venue: Phoenix Centre, Carrickmacross
3.00pm - 3.30pm:  Workshop Registration (confirmed tutors in brackets)
3.30pm - 5.30pm: Classes in Set dancing (Kathleen & Michael McGlynn) and Sean Nós dancing (Gerard Butler)

Venue: Corduff & Raferagh Community Centre, Corduff
8.30pm - 11.30pm: Concert with At The Racket, Clare McKenna, Ceoltóirí Drumlin, Carrickmacross Comhaltas harp group and Spleodar
Admission:  €10

11:30pm - Late: Festival club
Admission free

Sunday, 1st April 2012
Venue: Inver College, Carrickmacross
3.00pm - 6.00pm:  Sets Céilí with Triskell Céilí Band.  Sets called by Therese McConnon.
Admission €10

Venue: Shirley Arms Hotel, Carrickmacross
6.30pm - 10.30pm: Seisiún Clainne - Family music session
Admission Free

Are you constantly worrying about a loved one’s addiction?  Is your life a constant struggle to keep positive and you are at your wits end!!  You think your house is the only one living this way?  You feel you can not talk about it with your immediate family and friends?  FAMILY SUPPORT is willing to listen on either one to one basis or in a group setting in a safe and confidential manner.

Ring and ask for FAMILY SUPPORT @ 042 969 2510
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Free of charge

The search is currently on for the 2012 Monaghan Rose of Tralee. Taking part in the Monaghan Rose Selection is a fantastic experience for those who wish to represent their county at the Regional Finals in Portlaoise in June and hopefully on to the televised final in Tralee this coming August. It’s a great opportunity to make new friends for life and become part of the extended Rose Family.

Various events are held as part of the Monaghan Rose Selection, including social outings with other Rose Centres, local get-togethers, judging interviews and a briefing which gives you a chance to meet your fellow entrants and find out a bit more about what's involved.

The 2012 Monaghan Rose Selection will culminate with our selection night which will take place in the Glencarn Hotel, Castleblayney on April 29th, 2012.

Our current Monaghan Rose is the wonderful Caoimhe Daly - who represented Monaghan immensely well in Portlaoise and did her county proud!

If you feel you have the ability to represent Monaghan or know someone who you wish to nominate why not send us an email to monaghanrose2012@ gmail.com or friend us on our facebook page by clicking here.

The Monaghan Centre make it our priority that when you enter the Monaghan Rose Selection, you will have a fantastic experience!.

Local company Aura Internet Services has released a Carrickmacross Appnew mobile app for Carrickmacross.
The free app, allows people at home and abroad to access a broad range of information about Carrickmacross.  The app provides information on local “news and events”, ‘things to do’, ‘places to stay’ and ‘where to eat’. The app will provide a map and direct to you to the service within the town. The app is available for iPhones and Android mobile phones, and is also available for the iPad.  It can be downloaded from www.carrickmacross.ie/app

The new Carrickmacross App was officially launched by Carrickmacross Town Council, Mayor Noel Keelan welcomed the developed as another significant step forward for Carrickmacross in terms of IT awareness and communications.

Speaking at the launch, Breda McGuigan from Aura Internet said ’mobile internet services and apps are the way of the future. Nearly 50% of the phones being sold now are smart phones, companies and organisation will have to develop and adopt apps and mobile internet to stay ahead of the competition’

An app is short for the term application and is a small piece of software which runs on your mobile phone and connects to the internet.  For more information on app development contact Breda McGuigan, Aura Internet @ 042-9664833 or www.aura.ie

Once again Main Street Carrickmacross was filled with thousands eager to enjoy the Carrickmacross St. Patrick’s Day Parade.   Over 50 colourful groups and organisations took part in the parade this year to which Carrickmacross was blessed with a crisp, dry day!  The Carrickmacross Branch of the Comhaltas Ceoltoirí warmed the crowd up prior to the Parade by playing a selection of traditional tunes which are always guaranteed to entertain.

True to tradition, the Parade was lead by the 3rd Monaghan C.B.S.I. who marched in impressive formation through the town.  The beaver section displayed some of their creativity in the form of a colourful dragon.  In pursuit the ventures exhibited some of their camping skills and equipment on a large float.  Then followed the Steadfast Brass Band who had also played beautifully at the flag raising earlier that morning at the Courthouse and picked up one of the prizes in the parade!  The local Councillors joined dignitaries on the reviewing stand, while Mr. David O’Rourke did a magnificent job as M.C. announcing all the participants as they passed the reviewing stand.

As ever, the local primary schools made huge efforts on the day, arriving in colourful costumes with St. Joseph’s Boys National School all marching colourfully dressed as Wolly from the “Where’s Wolly?” books, while Scoil Rois aptly commemorated the doomed “Titanic” which scooped them 1st prize as the best float in the parade.  This year the town was delighted to have a number of new groups joining the parade, in particular Word International Ministries who danced their way up Main Street in beautiful flowing costumes whilst playing tambourines.   The Carrickmacross Festival Committee also entertained the lines of spectators playing live music and singing as festive characters!  Some of our walking groups included The 6th Monaghan Scouts Group from Killanny/Inniskeen, the Aces Athletic Club, the Town Twinning Association, Friends of Lough Derg, Stedfast House, the Housewives Club and the Cycling Club. 

The Vintage Section is a big part of the Parade each year and there were magnificent displays from Lisdoonan, Carrickmacross and Muff Vintage Clubs.   Other vintage vehicles included J.J. Cunningham, Pat Kerr and Sons, Bernard Maguire, and Brian Oliver.   Commercial Floats included McConnons Recovery, Komandor, Toal Auctioneers, Supervalue, Vanity Nightclub, Crazy Trailor, “Something Old, Something New” and Oasis Landscaping.  While Cabra Castle’s illuminated float filled with Shrek characters won 2nd prize in the best float.

The crowds were also delighted to hear music from the Corduff Pipers, the Aughnamullen East Pipe Band, St. Mary’s Brass Band, Kingscourt and of course An Lochrann Linn Band who received Best Band prize.  As always all the bands provided great entertainment and colour to the parade.

Well done to all the bands and organisations that participated, their contribution to the Parade was appreciated by all.  We look forward to seeing you all back again in Carrickmacross in 2013.

Seachtain na Gaeilge – Fuinneog Álainn - Best Shop window was won by The Wedding Gallery, O’Neill Street 2nd place went to Ronaghan’s Opticians, Main Street with 3rd place going to Gifts n’ Things, Main Street.  Well done to all the shops that participated.  The standard was exceptional as ever.

The St. Patrick’s Day Committee would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who took part in the Parade, the Garda Síochána, the Town Council Staff, David O’Rourke, Seamus McEneaney from ‘The Fiddler’s Elbow’ sponsors of best band, Cloughvalley Stores sponsors of best float and everyone that came to watch the Parade.

8 Professional & 8 Amateur Chefs compete in Master Chef Monaghan in the Nuremore Hotel, Thursday 8th March at 8pm. Tickets €10. Weekend away prize for 1 ticket holder on the night. This charity fund raising event is being run by The Phoenix Sports Centre Carrickmacross in association with Executive Chef Mr Richard Corrigan (Derragarra Inn). For more info pleaes contact Martin McMahon, The Phoenix Centre.

All second level schools are to get high speed (100Mbps) broadband, the Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Pat Rabbitte T.D. and the Minister for Education and Skills, Ruairí Quinn T.D. announced today.

The national roll-out will be completed over three stages with 200 schools being connected by September 2012, a further 200 being connected next year and the remaining 250 schools being connected in 2014. 
 
The programme follows on from the successful pilot project that has been running since 2009. The pilot involved 78 second level schools where the use of broadband has been shown to have improved both teaching and learning.
 
Speaking at the launch in Coláiste Bríde, Clondalkin, one of the schools involved in the successful pilot project, Minister Rabbitte commented “Our secondary schools need industrial strength broadband. Students’ experience of using technology in their everyday lives must be reflected in their learning experiences in schools. Use of ICT is no longer a separate subject - We must encourage students and teachers to integrate the use of ICT with the traditional teaching methods for all subjects. In this way we will prepare the digital workforce of the future.” 
 
The Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources is funding all of the capital costs of this project, estimated to be approximately €11m as well as contributing some €10m in current costs for the years 2013 to 2015. The Department of Education & Skills (DES) will fund the remaining current costs (estimated to be some €20m up to 2015). DES will also fund the on-going costs on an annual basis into the future.
 
Commenting on the launch, Minister Quinn said “we need to ensure that appropriate digital technology and high-speed internet are in place in our schools as a basic building block to deliver a 21st Century learning experience to all learners”.
 
“This major ICT investment in our education system follows on from the commitment in the Programme for Government to incorporate the integration of ICT in teaching and learning across the curriculum and investing in broadband development to ensure schools have access to modern high-speed networks”, he added. 
 
Minister Rabbitte heralded the school’s excellent use of high speed broadband - “The opportunity this morning to see how class room learning can be revolutionised by the availability and adoption of high speed broadband, strengthens my conviction that we are delivering a strategic and worthwhile project that will deliver significant long-term results from both an economic and social perspective. Despite our current economic difficulties, this significant investment in our current and future generation of school-children is money well spent.”

 

St Patrick's DaySt. Patrick’s Day is coming upon us once again and we are now taking names of any organisations, businesses, bands etc. that wish to take part in this years fun!!  After the success of last years parade, with over 50 organisations, along with a number of local and non-local bands taking part, we are anxious to recreate this success and make this years parade even bigger and better!  This years parade is to take place on Saturday the 17th of March, 2012 and hopes to be a colourful and fun-filled day for all!

If you wish to take part, please contact the Carrickmacross Town Council on 042 9661236 or alternatively email us on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. as soon as possible as the line up for the parade is growing rapidly and booking is essential!