Major fish kill
A MAJOR fish kill which occurred along a stretch of the Drumragh River above Omagh has brought an angry reaction from local anglers who have claimed that almost the entire stock of the river from above Lissan Bridge down to the town has been wiped out.
Investigations are being carried out by officials of Foyle Fisheries and pollution has been identified as the most likely cause.
The local Omagh Anglers’ Association has already blamed the kill on industrial pollution and claimed that “there appears to be little doubt as to the source of this pollution.”
An Association spokesman who visited the scene described how he found hundreds of dead trout lying on the banks of the river and he described the smell coming from the water as “practically unbearable.”
Praying for rain
OMAGH’S dwindling domestic water supplies could drop to an all time low if the current spell of prolonged sunshine and lack of rain continues. But according to the Department of the Environment, the situation in the Omagh area, although causing them concern, is not nearly as severe as other areas where reservoir levels have dropped considerably.
However, the department warns that if the exceptionally good spell of dry weather continues the Omagh district could also find itself in trouble – its residents praying for rain.
“We are all right for another five to six weeks or a little longer, but if the weather conditions have not changed by then, we would be worried,” said Jack McFarland, operations engineer for the DoE’s Western Division.
Fed up with vandals
A SAWMILL where vandals caused £1,000 worth of damage In nine months may close down. In the latest incident at the works in Clogher two lorries were damaged. The windscreen and gear box of one lorry and the tyres of another were damaged when the vehicles were driven into a field.
The proprietor, Louis Haslett (39), said, “I can’t put up with it any longer. I am thinking seriously of closing down the business.”
The sawmill, where sectional furniture is also manufactured, opened less than a year ago.
But since then, said Mr Haslett, several items including an electric drill have been stolen.
“We recovered the drill later,” he said, “but we never know what the vandals will be up to next.”
Primary school closure
BARNESS primary school, Plumbridge, is to be closed, and the pupils are to be taken to Glenrone Primary School, Tyrone Education Committee decided on the recommendation of its Finance Committee.
Dr RJ Dickson, deputy chief education officer, said that the number of pupils at Barness had fallen to seven.
The committee is also to consider building a new school to replace Donaghy PS. The architect reported that the present building and site would not be suitable for proposed extensions – two new classrooms with a kitchen – and that the extensions would mean adding a large proportion of new work to a small portion of old work. The site was restricted by two roads and a steam.
Orangemen prefer Adolph Hitler to de Valera
SPEAKING at the unfurling of an Orange banner at Killycurragh near Omagh, Charles A Beattie, District Master of Omagh Orangemen, said it was possible that a weak British Government might yield to republican terrorists and bombers and hand over Northem Ireland.
He said the average Orangeman preferred the rule of Hitler to the rule of de Valera, because Hitler “did things openly.”
De Valera had robbed Protestants of their property and driven them out of the country, and there were as many Protestant refugees from the ‘Free State’ as there were German refugees.
He added, “Ulster is was now getting the full blast of a campaign of lies and subterfuge, but the people of Northern Ireland would never submit to be ruled by the priests of the Roman Catholic Church.”
Troops and the war
AT a special meeting of Omagh Urban Council, the town clerk read a letter from the commanding officer of the military depot asking if the Town Hall and other apartments in the council’s buildings would be available for the accommodation of troops in the event of war.
R K Henderson said, “Give it to them surely.”
The chairman said the council might as well give the accommodation in good humour because the authorities could commandeer the premises.
The town clerk was instructed to reply that in the event of war the premises would be available for the accommodation of troops.
Amusing and humorous discussion at council
AT the quarterly meeting of the Castlederg District Council, there was a most amusing and humorous discussion with regard to the rescinding of two road contracts held by a man named John Cassidy.
The roads related to the one from Castlederg to Drumquin and the other from Castlederg to Omagh.
The contractors’ sureties appeared before the meeting and expressed the opinion that the contracts should be rescinded. Cassidy then appeared in the courthouse and asked why the contracts had been rescinded. The answer from the chairman was that the county surveyor and the sureties wanted them rescinded.
“The sureties have nothing to do with it. Mr Lynam appears to be the council here”.
Mr Lynam replied, “If you talked less and worked more it would be better for you.”
Cassidy continued to protest loudly and when several members advised him to be quiet he exclaimed “I have kept quiet too long.”
Mr Oliver and other members advised Cassidy to keep quiet, but he continued to protest in a loud tone and said that since he had been prosecuted he did a lot of work on the roads. He added that the council talk so much about the roads that the people thought that they would be swallowed up in them.
“I would be an idiot to do the work for nothing. What about the deferred money? I will do no more work on the road,” he added. Mr Lynam responded by saying “I hope not.”
The council adhered to their decision and Cassidy left the court loudly protesting.