Sunday, February 03, 2008


A New Plan for Slane

I attended the launch of the new planning document for Slane during the week. The document is about 18 months in gestation and has been put together by Professor Philip Geoghan on behalf of the Slane Forum.

Once again, as with most meetings in Slane, there was a big crowd - well over a hundred citizens attended. Slane village benefits from a great community spirit and that bodes well for the future.

The Plan seems well thought out and proposes various schemes that could help to revitalise the village, including a local park and the refurbishment of the Mill. I'm hopeful that this is not the end of the process, but the end of the beginning of the process and that we might see some much needed investment come into the village.

Over Christmas I visited Keyna and Tanzania. I was in Kenya on the day of the fateful election and saw at first hand the queues building up at polling stations. The EU needs to do all it can to bring peace back to this country, a point I made in the Senate last week.

We crossed over into Tanzania and I climbed the highest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro.

Taking a rest on the way to the summit.

The climb took seven days and six nights. I had a dreadful time. I vomited every day and for the whole week I couldn't keep any food down and I didn't sleep a wink. However, people from the North East don't give up easily; I managed to keep going and reached the peak, Uhuru, on New Year's Day.

At the summit on New Year's Day

Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there, if you parden the appalling pun. By the time I got to the bottom again I had developed a severe bronchial problem, which has been with me ever since. Four weeks later I am just starting to recover. The doctors tell me I have a few weeks of recuperation to go yet. Not a great start to 2008!


We need to see more zebra crossings - I saw this one in the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania

Dear Dominic,
Congratulations on conquering Kilimanjaro! My best friend did it 10 yrs ago, she is a fitness instructor and she found it quite daunting.
Talking of Ngorongoro Crater, have you seen Donore Village lately! And still no zebra crossing in sight!
Any chance of getting someone down just to see how hazardous it is for the children crossing that road at 2pm and 3pm. The problem is only going to be exacerbated by the new shops which are opening now.
I am just concerned that something dreadful will have to happen before the council take any notice.
I know Tina Brock was in touch today and hopefully you will be able to help.
Anyway, I hope you are feeling better.
Paula Sewards-Taaffe
(secretary of the parents assoc.)
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