Alan ShatterDONEGAL DAILY COMMENT: We write hundreds of stories every week at Donegal Daily. We rarely write an editorial comment.But today it’s time to ask a simple question: How long is our Justice Minister going to allow thugs to terrorise the people of County Donegal?Alan Shatter controls the purse strings, our courts and An Garda Siochana. And we DON’T HAVE ENOUGH GARDAÍ to deal with the sickening crimes which has left people terrified in their homes right across this county in the past few weeks.Like the weather affected by a so-called ‘Storm Factory’ in the Atlantic, Donegal is being bombard by a ‘Crime Factory’ – wave after wave of criminal attack on some of the most vulnerable people in our society.Elderly widows have been shaken out of their beds by thugs smashing their doors down with sledgehammers.Old men in the twilight of their lives have been bound, gagged and had knives put to their throats by lowlife criminals. Some Gardaí have said they’re in control; it’s just the reporting of crime by journalists which makes it look bad. What utter rubbish. People don’t want to hear statistics when they’re dealing with an elderly relative left traumatised or worse – like poor Suzy Arthur who never recovered and eventually died.But most Gardaí know what the real story is – there simply isn’t enough of them. They struggle from shift to shift (on barmy shift patterns) to get to grips with the criminals.They know for a fact that their colleagues up in Dublin have all the resources they want; whilst our county struggles to cope.Gardaí do their best. Some even work unpaid extra hours for the benefit of this community and we should be grateful for that.But when they do catch criminals – and they do catch them – we often see them bailed, given Community Service Orders and fined – fines which they don’t even pay. And what is the root cause of all of this; Alan Shatter, Minister for Justice.It is he who isn’t giving Donegal the policing resources it needs.And it is he who is telling judges to try to avoid filling up our prisons.No amount of waffle will wash anymore after another senseless attack this weekend on a couple in Lifford. No amount of rubbish about ‘specialist targeting’ of criminals counts.We’ve had enough. Health Minister James Reilly gives Letterkenny General Hospital HALF the money per patient that Dublin hospitals get.Alan Shatter is giving us half the number of Gardaí we need to fight this scourge of crime.It’s time for our SIX TDs – all of them – to stand up for Donegal.And demand that Alan Shatter either gives our Gardaí the resources they need or get the hell out of Government.DONEGAL DAILY COMMENT: HOW LONG IS ALAN SHATTER GOING TO ALLOW THIS THUGGERY TO CONTINUE? was last modified: February 23rd, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Alan Shattercrimehasn’t got a clueJUSTICE MINISTER
It looked a lot like speed dating: strangers exchanging introductions and asking questions before a buzzer sounds to mark a switch in conversation partners.But instead of looking for their perfect match, Brock Oenology and Viticulture (OEVI) students were using the 15-minute windows to meet and impress potential employers.Hosted at Pond Inlet by Brock’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI) and Co-op, Career and Experiential Education, the Jan. 15 event brought students together with a dozen industry professionals to explore careers in the wine industry, including the booming field of cider production.The evening’s setup offered the chance to ask questions about employment opportunities without the pressure and nerves that sometimes come with a job interview. The list of prospective employers included a research development specialist, a vineyard manager, an oenologist and several winemakers, as well as three representatives from the craft cider sector.A little more than five years ago, there were only a handful of cider producers in Ontario, but today, that number sits at more than 60. “The industry is definitely exploding,” said Antonella Presta, a winemaker and cider maker at Sunnybrook Farm Estate Winery and Ironwood Hard Cider, who came out to meet CCOVI’s latest cohort of talented students. “There are so many different styles and opportunities to make great unique products, not only apple cider but also perry (pear cider) and other fruit ciders. They can be hopped or oaked — the possibilities really are endless.”That innovation has cider makers creating a range of products that appeal to a large and growing consumer base, which has led to a booming industry. With growing demand for cider comes the need for more qualified workers, making the CCOVI career event a solid recruitment opportunity for producers.Colio Estates Wines, in Harrow, Ont., has “changed greatly” since the purchase of Thornbury Cider three years ago and the introduction of Colio’s Cider House, said Chief Financial Officer Derek Cartlidge.The business is currently undergoing a 6,000-square-foot addition and operations have doubled in size over the last several years and continue to grow. That sizeable growth was a big factor in bringing Cartlidge and Colio Estate winemaker Alison Christ to the Brock career night.“It is a great opportunity to get face-to-face with some of these students who may not necessarily think of coming to Lake Erie North Shore, where we are located,” Cartlidge said. “We need help during harvest and we have co-op placements to fill. We are looking for people who are interested in learning and getting a hands-on approach.”Colio and Sunnybrook Farm are just two of the many Ontario wineries now also producing cider.CCOVI is helping apple growers and hard cider producers meet the demands of this rapidly growing market.The Brock institute is the only program provider in Canada to offer a certification in cider production through the Cider Institute of North America (CINA), and also provides analytical testing services to help cider makers deliver the best product possible.“With the strength of the OEVI program and CCOVI’s central role in professional development, our students and alumni are in a great position to be leaders in the growing Canadian cider industry,” said Steven Trussler, the CINA-certified instructor in CCOVI’s cider program. “Seeing these cider-based employers coming to campus to meet our students is great proof of that.”CCOVI is in a position to further drive the industry forward with more advanced courses, including a new professional development program for cider makers that will be unveiled next month at CiderCon — an annual opportunity for the cider community to share ideas, collaborate and learn.“Any time you can get a group of people with experience and knowledge to educate more people about cider, it improves the quality of the entire industry and is great for Ontario,” Christ said.
The upcoming winter tourist season expected to be one of the best ever. Story Highlights There were 1,659,330 visitors from January to October 2013. The figures for Montego Bay and Kingston are showing increases for September and October. Minister of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Dr. Wykeham McNeill, says the tourism industry is showing good results, with the upcoming winter tourist season expected to be one of the best ever.“I am pleased to tell you that the tourism industry is doing well. We have enjoyed a good summer after a relatively weak winter (2012) and even with 2,000 (10 per cent) of room inventory off the market, Jamaica’s visitor arrivals since August have bucked the regional trend for flat arrivals in 2013,” the Minister said.Dr. McNeill, who was addressing the official launch of the Agro-Tourism Farmers’ Market Initiative in Negril on October 30, informed that there were 1,659,330 visitors from January to October, which is a 0.2 per cent increase over the same period last year.“In fact, we are experiencing the best October ever,” he said, noting that arrivals are expected to reach the two million mark by year-end.He said the figures for Montego Bay and Kingston are showing increases for September and October, with Kingston’s performance being particularly impressive, given the absence of 303 rooms due to the closure of Wyndham Kingston Hotel.He credited the improvements to the continued drive to diversify the source markets, moving beyond the traditional markets of the United States, Canada, and Western Europe, and tapping into Latin American and Eastern Europe.“We have good airlifts arrangements in place,” the Tourism Minister indicated.“Starting November 1, Russia will be moving from 320 seats to 500 seats. Then on November 7, the Boeing 787 Dreamliner will make its inaugural flight to the Caribbean, landing in Montego Bay. The extended flying range and fuel efficiency of this Dreamliner mean bigger and better things for Jamaica as it will open up new market opportunities for Jamaica, enabling us to reach deeper into Europe and Asia than had been possible before,” he pointed out.The Minister also revealed that the waiving of visa requirements has assisted in gaining ground in Russia and opened the door to Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, Hungary and Sweden) the Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, and Ukraine.“While these numbers are great for Jamaica and great for the economy, I am on a mission to ensure that every Jamaican benefits from the tourism earnings. Tourism can be sustainable if the man on the ground is involved and enjoys the tourism returns,” Dr. McNeill said.
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