Welcome to this week’s e-letter. As usual, if you have any queries or concerns please contact me on 087-2511037 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sub-post offices needed for Letterkenny area
For some time now I have been campaigning for sub-post offices in the Glencar and Gortlee areas of Letterkenny. I am firmly of the view that we need post offices in these areas in order to service the burgeoning populations there and to ease pressure on the already-busy post office on the main street. The sight of queues coming out of the post office on Letterkenny Main Street is one we are all too familiar with and it is not acceptable that people, especially the elderly, are expected to queue for a long time. Petitions asking people whether they would like a sub-post office in their area have been up in a number of local businesses for several weeks now. Already we have collected hundreds of signatures from people who support the campaign and we continue to do so. The post office on the main street is an important asset to the town centre area but it has been overwhelmed in recent times because they are offering more services and dispensing more social welfare payments than before. Sub-post offices would help take the pressure of the main facility, which is an integral part of the main street area.
New Labour website launched
This week saw the Labour Party launch its new website. It is a great resource for anyone looking to find out more about Eamon Gilmore’s party and their policies. The site is packed with up-to-date news, election updates, candidate information, pictures, blogs, policy documents and more. Check it out on www.labour.ie and my own section within it on labour.ie/jimmyharte.
Letterkenny Link Road, Blaney too late
The planned Letterkenny relief road, which will stretch from Bonagee roundabout to beyond Arena 7, has been on the agenda for several years. I have been at numerous town council and county council meetings where the route has been discussed and where the cost benefit analysis has shown that it has qualified under all qualifying criteria according to the NRA. The only missing link is funding. Fianna Fail and Niall Blaney TD are a bit late to come out this week and promise action on the issue as they have been in power for 13 years and this was never a priority with them. However, it is the most important link road in east Donegal that will facilitate both the Fanad and Milford areas and Gweedore areas, as well as local traffic in Letterkenny. We are at present depending on the Port Bridge to bring all our traffic in and out of Letterkenny and North Donegal. If for any reason the Port Bridge was to be temporarily closed, then there would be a traffic backlog that would strangle the tourism and economic industries of the town. Niall Blaney TD and FF are taking a sudden interest in this project but to date their actions have been less than supportive when it came to producing funding. Now with an election imminent, false promises will be the order of the day.
Rural schools in Donegal under threat
It emerged this week that some 57 rural schools in Donegal could be closed or amalgamated in a value-for-money review being undertaken by the Department of Education. Labour’s view on this is that we favour clustering small schools together, and should the situation arise, we could look at options such as having all the children in junior classes taught in one school and those in senior classes taught in another nearby. They could also share secretaries and a board of management. It is important to keep in mind that many of these schools are the heart of their rural communities and any decision to close one should be taken with the greatest consideration for the community in mind. It should also be an imperative that, if schools are amalgamated, that adequate facilities and resources are in place in the receiving school so that it is properly equipped to deal with the influx of new pupils and in some cases, teachers.