Opinion Round-Up


With an over-dependence on the construction and hospitality industries, it was inevitable that Donegal would feel the pain of the recession. It now seems that the figures are proving just that.
The numbers on the live register in Donegal in December showed an increase on the November figure with an extra seven hundred people signing on in the run up to Christmas.
Statistics published by the Central Statistics Office on January 12 show that in the space of a year the numbers signing on in the county have risen by over five thousand.
There are now 20,748 people signing on the live register in Donegal, an increase of just under 700 from November to December.
Inishowen showed the greatest rise – an extra 239 people joined the live register in December bringing the region’s total to 4,888.


The Russell Group (a group of leading research universities in the UK) has warned that further cuts to higher education could lead to British universities moving from their current gold standard to a bronze one.In a letter to The Guardian, the group claimed, “It has taken more than 800 years to create one of the world’s greatest education systems and it looks like it will take just six months to bring it to its knees.

“Such huge cuts in university budgets would have a devastating effect not only on students and staff, but also on Britain’s international competitiveness, economy and ability to recover from recession.”

Higher Education Minister, David Lammy, has rejected the group’s assertions. “The suggestion that the savings we have asked from universities will bring higher education ‘to its knees’ is as surprising as it is misleading,” he said.
With both Labour and the Tories making their plans for the unprecedented cuts which will inevitably follow the election later this year, it is hardly surprising that such fears are prevalent throughout the public sector.


When Sarah Palin abruptly stepped down as Governor of Alaska in July before the end of her first term, many questioned how she could maintain a national presence without the platform of elected office.
Palin, however, has already proved her talent for raising wry smiles and giving people the occasional fit of the shudders.  With a bestselling book, an appearance on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and controversial Facebook postings, Palin hasn’t been far from the spotlight. The great cause of McCain’s election loss has now found another way to entertain us all: by signing on as a contributor for the (not so) much respected Fox News Channel.
Palin, who made her debut last week on “The O’Reilly Factor”, will appear regularly as a commentator on the network. She will also be one of the hosts of an occasional series called “Real American Stories”, a fascinating show about how everyday Americans cope with challenges…

Murder trials are no joking matter Atlanta

A murder trial in America has been reopened by the Supreme Court after it came to light that in a bizarre move, the jury had presented the judge with an edible chocolate penis and the bailiff with a pair of chocolate breasts.
Marcus Wellons of Atlanta had been convicted of the 1989 murder and rape of a 15 year-old girl. Wellon’s lawyers were not aware of the strange gifts, and only found out about them during the preparations of his appeal.
The Supreme Court declared that judicial proceedings which could result in a death sentence must be conducted with dignity and respect.