Donegal has a rich cultural heritage and one of its oldest and less well know traditions, The Ulster Scots Community, have planned a massive Ulster Scots Festival for Friday 13th and Saturday 14th July 2007.

The Festival is the brainchild of East Donegal Ulster Scots, a group which have been very busy over the last twelve months and have recently launched a website and organised the Makemie Weekend in Letterkenny in April of this year.

The group have secured funding from Donegal County Council Led Peace II Task Force, funded by the European Union Peace and Reconciliation Programme and from the Ulster Scots Agency. The Festival will be the conclusion of the Peace and Reconciliation Project which has included training programmes, the Makemie Weekend and the publishing of an exciting tourist brochure.

The Ulster Scots Festival offers fun packed family events and commences in Raphoe on Friday 13th July at 8pm. A parade of pipe bands, along with the Lagganiers, will culminate in the Diamond with an open air concert featuring Cutting Edge, Scotland’s best celidh rock band based in Dundee.
The action moves to the Cathedral Hall at 10.30pm with a celidh dance. You can dance the night away with Scotland’s top traditional dance band, Ian Muir Sound.

On Saturday the action moves to Glenmaquin. The festival field is situated within the shadow of Mongorry Hill with a great view of the Swilly and Letterkenny. The event kicks off at 1pm with a fun filled afternoon of events. The festival events include the All Ireland Novice Highland Games, Scottish Country and Highland Dance, exhibitions, Living History, tug-o-war and open air concert featuring the internationally renowned Different Drums of Ireland, Ian Muir Sound, The McFarland Folk Four and the Donegal Ulster Scots Experience. Added to this will be face painting, bouncy castles, Lambeg drumming and a variety of stalls.

Ulster

The main event of Saturday afternoon will be the Re-enactment of the seventeenth century “Battle of Glenmaquin” fought in 1642, between the Laggan army under the command of Sir Robert and Sir William Stewart and the Irish troops of Sir Phelim O’Neill. Over 9000 soldiers clashed at Glenmaquin with the Laggan Army proving victorious, saving the Scots Settlers in East Donegal and West Tyrone. The Lagganiers re-enactment group are made up of local people from East Donegal and the place of the Irish will be taken by re-enactors from Mourne Valley Cultural Association based in Newtownstewart, Co. Tyrone. Between 60 and 70 en-enactors will face each other at Glenmaquin and the outcome should be another victory for the Laggan Army!!

A Living History marquee will include a lecture on weaponry, and the history of the Laggan Army, a work seventeenth century forge and duelling.

The Festival will be brought to an end with a Scottish Country Dance in the Cathedral Hall on Saturday 14th July, dancing from 8pm to late.

Derek Reaney, Development Officer, for the Ulster Scots Agency, described the Festival as the result of a lot of hard work over the winter and spring and a great opportunity to learn more about the rich heritage associated with the Ulster Scots.

The Ulster Scots Agency is delighted to be associated with this event. This will be the largest Ulster Scots Festival in the province of Ulster in 2007.

Stewart Buchanan, chairperson of East Donegal Ulster Scots, said this is a fun filled programme for all the family, linking 17th century combat and history with face painting and bouncy castles, strawberries and cream. We extend a warm welcome to everybody to come along and experience the variety of events organised during the weekend.

We certainly hope that as a result of this project the wider community will have a greater understanding of the Ulster Scots culture and identity but this can only happen if you come along and have a great day out in Raphoe and Glenmaquin.

The Festival field at Glenmaquin is sign posted from Raphoe and Letterkenny. Car parking is free in Raphoe mart car-park and €5 in the festival field at Glenmaquin.



BT today announced that it has extended its sponsorship of the GAA Ulster
Colleges Competition for a further three years.

As part of the sponsorship BT will sponsor 29 (of the 35) competitions
organised by the Ulster Colleges. Commencing in September 2007, these
competitions are all played on a province-wide basis, and include schools
from such diverse geographical locations as Letterkenny in the North-West,
Ballycastle in the North-East to Carrickmacross and St Patrick¹s Cavan on
the southern periphery of Ulster.

L-R Peter Quinn, Sean Warnock, CBS Omagh Joe McMahon, All Ireland
Winner,Tyrone Footballer, Peter Morris, BT Head of Consumer



UNISON is holding a Press Conference to launch information posters “Don’t Cry Alone” At Third Floor, Galway House (Opposite Yorkgate) Friday 29th June at 1.00pm.

PRESS STATEMENT

Today UNISON Youth will launch a promotional campaign in the hope of saving young lives in Northern Ireland. In an informative suicide awareness poster initiative UNISON has published posters and leaflets with contact details for a range of support agencies.

UNISON is the largest public sector union in the UK and is calling on members of the Assembly to provide adequate funding for community groups and mental health services on the ground.
“We are very concerned about the increase in the number of young people contemplating taking their own lives, we wanted to reach out and let them know that help is available” said UNISON Youth Committee member Lynsey Moore.

In the year 2006, 291 people have taken their lives. Edward O’Donnell saw an opportunity to help “As a union member I believe that it is important that people’s mental wellbeing is an issue, we have access to so many workplaces, where people could see this information”.

The UNISON Youth Committee has been working on this project for over a year. The idea came about after consultation with a range of organisations such as PIPS and West Belfast Suicide Support group and mental health organisations. UNISON currently supports members to access the ASIST Suicide Intervention training and branches have made donations to groups working in their area.



Commenting on the end of the Blair Prime Ministership, Sinn Fin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness said:

It is only right that as Mr Blair’s time in Downing Street comes to an end that we acknowledge the very positive contribution he has made to the peace process and to the building of new relationships in Ireland and between Ireland and Britain.

There is no doubt that Tony Blair devoted more time and energy on finding a peaceful way forward than any other British Prime Minister. But as Irish republicans, while we should acknowledge the positive contribution he made to the Irish Peace Process our job is to create the conditions in which the British sovereignty over any part of Ireland is removed and the relationship between the two islands is between two sovereign nations.

However this is all part of a process and we will continue to work constructively with the Gordon Browne to make further progress on the peace dividend, the truth around collusion and Irish reunification.

On other areas of foreign policy such as Afghanistan and Iraq on which we profoundly disagreed with him I dont believe he will be judged so
favorably.



Stanley Weatherup, Slievetrue Road, Carrickfergus, was convicted at Belfast Magistrates Court on 26 June 2007 of 12 charges under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 1972 and three charges under the Cattle Identification (No 2) Regulations (NI) 1998. In addition, he was convicted of two charges in relation to the welfare of dogs taken by the PSNI – he was fined £500 plus £46 costs in respect of these.

Derek Weatherup, Slievetrue Road, Carrickfergus, was convicted at Belfast Magistrates Court on 26 June 2007 of four charges under the Welfare of Animals Act (NI) 1972, and four charges under the Welfare of Farmed Animals Regulations (NI) 2000.

Stanley Weatherup received a three year ban from keeping cattle, pigs and dogs (commencing 1 October 2007). He also received a three month custodial sentence suspended for one year, a conditional discharge for one year, and was fined £250.

Derek Weatherup received a three year ban from keeping cattle and pigs (commencing 1 October 2007), he also received a three month custodial sentence suspended for one year, and was fined £750 plus £46 costs



A report out today claims that more than a third of teachers feel the poor design of their school has a negative effect on their ability to teach.

The research, carried out by the Teacher Support Network and the British Council for School Environments, marks the start of National School Environments Week, which runs from 25-30 June.

Almost 90 per cent of those who took part in the research said that classroom layout is the single most important factor in the school environment when it comes to teaching and learning.

Only 60 per cent, however, said they were able to make adjustments to aid teaching.

Concerns about levels of security were also expressed, with almost a quarter saying that their school did not have sufficient levels of safety and security.

The research also found that, while most teachers believed information and communication technologies to be a vital part of teaching, only 60 per cent said they had adequate resources, while more than a third of teachers did not have the workspace necessary for the preparation and planning of school activities.

The BCSE is calling on the Government to follow a list of recommendations aimed at establishing good practice in the design and build of schools.

It says that a regular, large-scale survey of teachers and pupils to find out what can be done to improve the design of schools across the country will also help to get the future design of schools right.

In addition, it is calling for the creation of a national databank containing information on designs that do and don’t work.

Director of the BCSE, Ty Goddard, is calling on for the Government’s schools capital funding programme to reconsider the design and building process for schools.

‘The promise of billions of pounds to refurbish or rebuild schools is a fantastic opportunity – a real cause for celebration. But this new research shows the importance of getting the design and build process right, or we’ll end up with new schools that don’t work and fail our children, teachers and communities,’ he says.

The survey results can be found at www.teachersupport.info.



As Strabane’s Fair Day gets closer, all stops are being pulled out to ensure Saturday 30th June is a successful day with fun, games and entertainment for all the family. The main parade will travel through the town centre at 1.30pm

Community groups, school children and musicians are preparing for their input to the entertainment. A wealth of activity is happening throughout the district with children learning to play new instruments and perform dance routines and parents and youth leaders have taken a ‘hands on’ role in producing costumes for the parade. Businesses in the town including the Farmers Market are looking forward to the influx of visitors that descend on the town for this very popular annual event.

This year the parade will include carnival razzmatazz relating to the theme of Traditions, Myths and Legends. Maid Marion alias Grainne O’Connor, the Glenelly Rose, will lead the way in an open top vehicle. Plans are afoot to provide a gallant escort for the journey!

The local bands and community organisations are getting into the spirit of the event. St Joseph’s, Strabane Concert ,Sion Mills Independent Pipe band and the Tom. P Mullen Memorial Band will perform the music in the parade and from Letterkenny Community Development Samba Group making their first visit to the town. Local groups have made some amazing carnival props and exciting novelty carnival performers from Belfast, Donegal and Dublin will add further panache to this year’s parade.

The best of the District’s up and coming talent will be performing on stage from 1.00pm. These performers have been hard at work since Easter, producing their own lyrics through the Strabane & District Community Network music development programme. This local talent will perform an eclectic range from rock to traditional music. Making their debut in Strabane later in the afternoon will be Belfast based pop band, The Bizz, a session with Barba Papa a celebration of classic Motown and Stax, the Show band era and classic West Coast flavoured Rock. This group was formed by local guy David Oliver nie McGarrigle, they just released their first single’ I will be your Man’ which guaranteed to compliment all musical ears and tastes .

Other events happening on the day will start at 10.00am with a junior sports competition at Melvin Sports Complex and in the town centre at 1pm there will be fun and games for all ages with street entertainers, acrobats, trapeze artists, clowns, and medieval characters strolling the town. Inflatable castles and a carousel for kiddie’s entertainment will also be available in the Butcher Street Car Park.

Please note that the Butcher Street Car Park will be closed to public parking for the full day.

If you would like any further information on this year’s carnival contact Jean Smyth on 028 7138 2204. For accommodation contact Strabane Tourist Information Office on 028 7138 4444.



It’s heading into July and pulses are racing faster as the Bank of Ireland provincial football championship final season kicks in just ahead of the All-Ireland qualifiers which are certain to prove ultra-competitive this year.

The honour of launching the provincial final circuit falls to Munster and those old rivals, Kerry and Cork who clash in Killarney next Sunday.
Galway and Sligo are through to the Connacht final; Monaghan and Tyrone will contest the Ulster final while Dublin have qualified for their third successive Leinster final where they will play Laois or Wexford who meet in the last remaining provincial semi-final next Sunday.

Next Sunday’s programme is as follows:

Bank of Ireland Munster SFC Final
Kerry v Cork, Killarney, 2.00pm
Live on RTE 2

Bank of Ireland Leinster SFC semi-final
Laois v Wexford, Croke Park, 2.10pm

CORK v KERRY
Next Sunday’s Bank of Ireland Munster football final in Killarney will have a special edge as it features Kerry, the reigning All-Ireland champions against Cork, the reigning provincial champions.

Games between these great rivals are always special treats and this year will be no exception as Cork bid to win successive Munster titles for the first time since 1993-94-95 when they won the three-in-a-row while Kerry seek to regain the provincial crown, having won their last title two years ago.

Kerry hold a massive lead over Cork on the provincial honours table, having won the Munster title on no fewer than 70 occasions between 1892 and 2005. Cork have won the title on 34 occasions between 1890 and last year.

The counties met three times in last year’s championship, drawing in the Munster final in Killarney (0-10 each) before Cork won the replay by 1-12 to 0-9 in Pairc Ui Chaoimh. However, the Kingdom got revenge in the All-Ireland semi-final in Croke Park which they won by 0-16 to 0-10, en route to winning the title. Interestingly, it will be the sixth championship meeting in three seasons between the counties as they also met twice in 2005 with Kerry winning both the Munster final and All-Ireland semi-final.

New Kerry manager, Pat O’Shea will experience a Munster senior final for the first time while his Cork counterpart, Billy Morgan will be trying to steer Cork to a ninth Munster crown, having presided over eight previous successes in 1987-88-89-90-93-94-95-2006.
Cork beat Limerick and Tipperary to reach the final while Kerry ousted Waterford.


PATHS TO THE FINAL

Cork have scored a total of 4-32 in their two Munster championship games so far and have yet to concede a goal. Kerry hit 2-15 in their semi-final win over Waterford.

Cork 2-14 Limerick 0-7
Cork 2-18 Tipperary 0-10
*****
Kerry 2-15 Waterford 0-4

LAST FIVE BANK OF IRELAND CHAMPIONSHIP CLASHES

2006 – Kerry 0-16 Cork 0-10 (All-Ireland semi-final)

2006 – Cork 1-12 Kerry 0-9 (Munster final replay)

2006 – Cork 0-10 Kerry 0-10 (Munster final)

2005 – Kerry 1-19 Cork 0-9 (All-Ireland semi-final)

2005 – Kerry 1-11 Cork 0-11 (Munster final)

LAOIS v WEXFORD

A Leinster final clash with Dublin on July 15 is the prize for the winners. Laois are attempting to reach the Leinster final for the fourth time in five seasons while Wexford last reached the final in 1956. Wexford will be hoping it’s fourth time lucky, having lost Leinster semi-finals in each of the last three years to Westmeath (2004), Dublin (2005) and Offaly (2006).

Laois and Wexford last clashed in the championship in 2003 when Laois won easily. Wexford’s last win over Laois in the championship was in 1953 when they won a quarter-final clash by a point.

Although the counties have met twice in the Leinster championship this decade, it’s not one of the busiest rivalries with only 16 championship games recorded between them and only six since 1950. It stands at 8-8 from those 16 meetings.

PATHS TO THE SEMI-FINAL

Laois 0-14 Longford 0-9 (Leinster quarter-final)
***
Wexford 0-16 Louth 2-8 (Leinster quarter-final)

Last Five Bank of Ireland Leinster SFC clashes

2003 – Laois 1-19 Wexford 0-10 (Leinster 1st round)
2001 – Laois 0-18 Wexford 0-14 (Leinster 1st round)
1968 – Laois 2-12 Wexford 1-9 (Leinster 1st round)
1953 – Wexford 1-9 Laois 0-11 (Leinster quarter-final)
1951 – Laois 1-9 Wexford 2-4 (Leinster semi-final)

BANK OF IRELAND SFC 2007 – RESULTS & FIXTURES

LEINSTER
May 13: First round: Longford 2-13 Westmeath 1-13, Pearse Park.
May 20: First round: Louth 1-11 Wicklow 0-14; Meath 2-11 Kildare 1-8 (Both in Croke Park.
May 27: Replay: Louth 1-9 Wicklow 0-12, Parnell Park.
June 2: Quarter-final: Laois 0-14 v Longford 0-9, Tullamore.
June 3: First round 2nd replay: Louth 2-18 Wicklow 0-11, Croke Park; Quarter-final: Dublin 1-11 Meath 0-14, Croke Park.
June 10: Quarter-final: Offaly 2-19 Carlow 3-7, Portlaoise.
June 17: Quarter-finals: Wexford 0-16 Louth 2-8, Croke Park: Replay: Dublin 0-16 Meath 0-12, Croke Park.
June 24: Semi-final: Dublin 1-12 Offaly 0-10, Croke Park.
Next Sunday: Semi-final: Laois v Wexford, Croke Park.
July 15: Final: Dublin v Laois/Wexford, Croke Park.

ULSTER
May 13: Preliminary Round: Cavan 2-11 Down 3-8, Kingspan Breffni Park.
May 20 (Replay): Down 0-15 Cavan 0-11, Newry.
May 20: Quarter-final: Tyrone 0-13 Fermanagh 1-9, Clones.
May 27: Quarter-final: Donegal 1-9 Armagh 1-8, Ballybofey
June 3: Quarter-final: Antrim v Derry, Casement Park (postponed due to waterlogging)
June 10: Quarter-finals: Monaghan 2-15 Down 1-15, Newry; Derry 1-13 Antrim 0-10, Casement Park.
June 17: Semi-final: Tyrone 2-15 Donegal 1-7, Clones.
Next Sunday: Semi-final: Monaghan 0-14 Derry 1-9, Casement Park.
July 15: Final: Tyrone v Monaghan, Clones.

CONNACHT
May 13: Quarter-final: Sligo 2-18 New York 1-3, Gaelic Park, New York.
May 20: Quarter-final: Galway 2-10 Mayo 0-9, Pearse Stadium.
May 27: Leitrim 1-12 London 2-5 Ruislip.
June 17: Semi-final: Sligo 0-13 Roscommon 2-5, Dr.Hyde Park.
Next Sunday: Semi-final: Galway 0-17 Leitrim 1-10, Carrick-on-Shannon.
July 8: Final: Sligo v Galway.

MUNSTER
May 20: Quarter-finals: Waterford 1-6 Clare 0-7, Dungarvan; Cork 2-14 Limerick 0-7, Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
June 3: Semi-finals: Kerry 2-15 Waterford 0-4, Dungarvan; Cork 2-18 Tipperary 0-10, Gaelic Grounds.
Next Sunday: Kerry v Cork, Killarney.

BANK OF IRELAND SFC QUALIFIERS
Saturday, July 7 – Round 1: Limerick v Louth, Gaelic Grounds: Leitrim v Donegal, Carrick-on-Shannon; Mayo v Cavan, Castlebar; Down v Meath, Newry; Roscommon v Kildare, Dr, Hyde Park; Westmeath v Longford, Mullingar.
Sunday, July 8: Fermanagh v Laois/Wexford, Enniskillen or Clones, 2.0; Armagh v Derry, Clones, 4.0
July 14 – Round 2 (Eight Round 1 winners play off against each other)
July 21 – Round 3 (Connacht and Munster runners-up v two Round 2 winners)
July 28 – Round 3 (Leinster and Ulster runners-up v two Round 2 winners)

ALL-IRELAND CHAMPIONSHIPS
Aug 4: All-Ireland quarter-finals (2)
Aug 11: All-Ireland quarter-finals (2)
Aug 19: All-Ireland semi-final, Croke Park.
Aug 26: All-Ireland semi-final, Croke Park.
Sept 16: All-Ireland final, Croke Park


To quit smoking successfully your brain as well as your body needs to adapt
and change at the deepest level.

We often hear it takes willpower to quit smoking. It also takes courage
and time to make the transition from smoker to non-smoker. As you take
away the nicotine from your body, you bring about a big chemical change
that has a significant impact on your mind and emotions. Quitting smoking
hits you hard – your cells start to cry out for the drug that they have
become used to.

So it makes sense that if you can support your mind and emotions through
this turbulent time and help your brain and body adapt to a nicotine-free
environment, you have a better chance of success.

Given that conventional methods of support such as nicotine replacement
have only a 15-17% success rate after one year, theres clearly more to
quitting smoking than simply replacing a cigarette with gum or a patch.

Get Some More Love

The superfood Wild Blue-Green Algae from the Klamath Lake offers the most
powerful all round nutrition to support and balance the body, mind and
emotions.

It comprises a rich supply of natural anti-depressant type molecules
including phenylethlyamine (PEA) which is also known as the love
molecule.* Research shows that PEA improves mood faster than amphetamines
and is non-addictive (Journal of Neuropsychiatry Clin Neurosci, 1996 spr.
8:2, 168-71). PEA also directly contributes to increasing the quantity of
freely circulating dopamine in the brain.

A lack of dopamine in the brain is associated with cravings. In fact,
certain chemically-based drugs designed to increase dopamine levels are
used alongside nicotine therapy to help people stop smoking. But why
continue to use nicotine and take yet another drug when natures own
dopamine enhancer can have a similar effect naturally?

How does it help smokers quit?

Nicotine’s withdrawal from the body can leave you feeling anxious, stressed
and, sometimes, depressed. This is the bodys way of telling you it
doesnt like the change. It is at this point that many people cave in and
give their body a nicotine hit to feel more in control again as their body
feels the familiar effects. But by redressing the anxiety, stress and
depression before they take a hold you could avert the need to light up.

Loved Up But No Longer Attracted

Many people taking Klamath algae report that they are “no longer attracted
to nicotine. And here are some reasons why:

1 The love molecule PEA promotes feelings of love, calm and
happiness.

2 PEA also helps adjust the dopamine level in the brain to help you
cope with cravings

3 Klamath Algae has a high level of chlorophyll which is a powerful
cleansing/detoxifying agent that speeds up the removal of toxins that have
accumulated during the smoking years.

* The high level of circulating toxins in the blood stream
contributes to withdrawal symptoms: by removing these toxins quickly and
efficiently you can lessen the withdrawal symptoms

Reach A Natural High

Klamath Blue Green Algae stimulates your entire bodys systems its effect
will be felt in your emotions, energy levels and clarity of mind. A boost
in all these areas could just give you the mental strength and physical
wellbeing to overcome the withdrawal of nicotine. And as the nicotine
leaves your body, the positive effects of the Klamath Algae will continue
to keep you energised, optimistic and alert a natural high that is far
better!

Where do I find Klamath Algae with a high level of Phenylethylamine?

VITALLIFE is pure organic Klamath blue-green algae (Aphanizomenon Flos
Aquae, AFA Fresh), dried using the Refractance Window Method, which
assures a concentration of nutrients up to 10 times higher than other
drying methods such as spray/freeze drying.
It costs 12.00 for 60 capsules. At the recommended intake of four
capsules each day, thats just 80p per day for, literally, a head start in
quitting smoking. Order online at www.simplyvital.com.

For more information, samples and images contact:

Katherine Selby, PR Workshop, 0208 657 4422 katherine@prworkshop.co.uk

Note to editors:

* PEA is an amino acid naturally produced by our brain. Sometimes called a
neurohormone, PEA has specific neuroregenerating properties and is
responsible for increasing brain attention, mental acuity and improving
mood. People experiencing euphoria and joy have particularly high brain
concentrations of PEA, as do people in love, hence it has been named “the
love molecule” by scientists. Long-distance runners also have naturally
high levels, which may explain the anti-depressant effects of endurance
exercise.



Get fired up for the summer early this year as the Ulster American Folk Park host their famous American Independence Celebrations. From Wednesday 4th to Sunday 8th July, the museum will be bursting with entertainment for all the family as thrilling re-enactments from the American Civil War take centre stage at the popular visitor attraction.

The spectacular re-enactment follows the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia as they cross into Pennsylvania foraging for supplies. Discover what life was like in July 1864 when the war was reaching its climax in places such as Gettysberg, Virginia & Port Hudson, Missouri. Visitors can walk around the army encampments and experience their living conditions, mingle with the soldiers finding out what weaponry was used. Visitors will have to be on the look out for the Union corporal though who’s recruiting anyone he can get and of course take cover when those dramatic skirmishes begin!

There are also a range of other exciting activities taking place over the five-day extravaganza including Punch and Judy shows, dramatic readings from the Declaration of Independence, traditional American games and live bluegrass, jazz and folk music. This includes performances from crowd pleaser, musician and singer Tom Sweeney with his fun filled sing-along shows for kids while for older visitor’s charismatic performer James Huish & his Swing Band will perform dulcet renditions of ‘Rat Pack’ classics. Also returning to the museum to help with the 2007 celebrations will be the exciting and talented, Keili Kids. This popular group of young fiddlers and singers from the USA have performed on stage with Seamus Connolly, Irish Grand Champion Fiddler and with Grammy Award winning Jay Ungar & Molly Mason.

A full programme of each of the day’s activities are available on line so log on to “http://www.folkpark.com” www.folkpark.com or telephone 028 8224 3292 to plan your visit.


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