Border road to close?
FARMERS and businesspeople in the Castlederg/Castlefin area have united to form a pressure group to fight what they have described as a “drastic and controversial decision” to shut down a customs frontier post at Castlefin. Farmers and traders in both towns, together with the Castlederg and District Development Association, are enraged at a decision by the Revenue Commissioners in the Republic to close the Kilclean Customs Post at Ringsend on May 1, it has been claimed.
Representatives of the groups – who say the decision was taken without any consultation with local people or associations – fear that the implications are destined to cause “utter havoc” if the removal of the post leads to eventual closure of the Castlederg to Castlefin Road.
And at a public meeting attended by between 100 and 150 concerned people, a cross-border, cross-community committee was established which plans to mount a massive campaign demanding that the controversial decision be rescinded.
Gold mine crux
THE security situation, which does not allow the use of explosives, could put the future development of the Gortin gold mining operations at risk. Ennex International has confirmed it believes that a purely mechanical-based development of its Curraghinalt gold prospect in the Sperrin Mountains is not feasible, and that the development of the prospect will require the use of explosives. The Northern authorities may, as a result, have to rethink their policy towards the use of explosives if the Curraghinalt mine is to go ahead.
Fisticuffs at council meeting
THERE was a remarkable scene at Strabane Urban Council and in the course of it the chairman (Dr Charles Sullivan) and John P O’Kane, chairman of the Strabane Branch of the Ratepayers’ Association, came to grips.
Mr O’Kane had received permission to attend the meeting as a member of a deputation, on whose behalf written application was made, and when the matter had been disposed of, Mr O’Kane remained in the Council Chamber.
He spoke on several matters discussed subsequently, and after the council had considered the provision of a new bath in Mr O’Kane’s council house, he jumped to his feet and said, “It is obvious that the chairman and Cllr McNulty have a prejudice.”
The chairman (heatedly) said, “Sit down and shut up.” Mr O’Kane responded, “Don’t dare tell me to shut up, you ignorant ****.”
The chairman then walked quickly to where Mr O’Kane was standing and they got into grips. At this stage several members, officials and members of the deputation were on their feet. Wrestling, the two men disappeared through the door leading from the Council Chamber and a short time afterwards Mr O’Kane returned with his clothing dishevelled.
Beatlemania and teenagers
A DERRY priest has hit back at critics of today’s teenagers. Rev George McLaughlin said, “The recent wave of Beatlemania has left many older people with a very poor impression of modern youth. The failings and follies of the teenager are widely publicised and from these facts too many of us generalise in judging youth.”
Discussion on air raids
AT the monthly meeting of Omagh Urban Council, the Town Clerk said he had prepared a draft scheme in connection with the Air Raids Precaution scheme, and he gave some details of the scheme.
Mr Blair said the clerk was wrong in stating that lecturers on air raid precautions would only be given by the instructors to those who were prepared to volunteer their services. The lectures were to be for the benefit, of the public as a whole.
Continuing Mr Blair referred to the steps to be taken in case of an air raid, and described the various forms of gas which the people would have to contend with. This was not a hole in the corner business.
“I don’t expect it is,” replied the chairman.
Mr Blair continued, “We are out to show that we are out to play our part for our King and country.
“The services will be civilian duty, and municipal authorities are responsible for the protection of the public.”
Mr Cassidy said, “I don’t see how we can expect people to come and listen to lectures of people who lived comfortably at home during the last war. It is a shame to ask them to do so.
“I am afraid there will not be many ex-servicemen to attend the lectures. If the council had applied to the British Legion they would hive got plenty of ex-servicemen to act as lecturers.
“When the Inspector General of the RIC asked for volunteers during the last war some of the men who are now lecturers were behind the ditches in Carrickmore and Mountfield.” (Laughter)
Fatal accident in sawmill
QUITE a sensation was caused in Fintona district when it was learned that James Porter had expired as a result of injuries received in Bell’s mill, where he had been employed for some time as a helper in the sawmill.
It appears that deceased had been working at a belt, and it is thought that while he was knocking off the belt he was struck by it or by the stick with which he knocked it off. Deceased was afterwards found lying in a dazed condition in the mill by his employer, and after restoratives were used, he walked home.
His condition afterwards became serious and that night he died as a result of the injuries he had received.
Indians on warpath
AMERICAN Indians touring England in a Wild West show figured in unrehearsed realism when on a visit to the quiet Somerset town of Glastonbury. The sequel was heard by the court when Deerfoot, an Indian and member of ‘Broncho Bill’s’ show, was sent for trial charged with assaulting John Walters, a local drover.
The charge arose out of incidents which occurred on the previous evening, when, according to the witness, shortly before the exhibition opened, cowboys and Indians attached to the show blustered about amongst the crowd, whooping and firing off revolvers. Walters was struck down with some sort of weapon, and several stitches had to be put in his scalp. The medicine man, Brown Bear, who was stated to be the show doctor for men and horses, offered to attend to his injuries, but his friends advised him to be treated by the local doctor. Deerfoot was granted bail but sent for trial.