Christmas Over

Christmas is over and we’re now looking towards the new year and 2014. This is the 6th last day of the old year of 2013.

2013 was a pretty good year as the economy started to recover except in construction. So, what are the hopes for 2014.

1. That the Caiseal Mara opens

The Caiseal Mara is the heartbeat of the town. By heartbeat I don’t mean it is where everything happens and Movillians go. I mean that it is the heart that sends out the ‘blood’ to the other organs of the body. It takes in visitors who then go and spend money in the town.

2. That we get good weather again

One think I’ve found is that good summers come in batches. When they eventually stop, bad summers come in batches too. Let’s hope this year’s weather was just the start of several years of good weather. It makes such a difference to the number of visitors we get here when the weather is good and forecast to be good.

3. That the DylanFest gets bigger and better

The guys that come and play here from abroad tell me that Stuck Inside of Moville is the biggest DylanFest in Europe. It is the only won that is multi-venue taking place over 4 days indoors and outdoors.

This year’s was the best in terms of numbers since the years when there was music in the square and Malin Road. It has been held back from growing bigger because of capacity problems.

When they first started in 2007 not only were we at the peak of a boom but there were two hotels in town with 64 bedrooms between them. Now there are none and none. Hopefully the Caiseal Mara will be open again this year which should make 48 bedrooms available again.That will make a big difference.

My main problem with the DylanFest is not getting good acts (I’ve got loads of them) but finding places to put the music on. For instance Jacques Mees couldn’t come over from Holland because we could get him only one gig. Hopefully, with pubs and hotels starting to open again we may be able to solve this problem.

4. That the BeatlesFest now has a good spot

The BeatlesFest has jumped around a fair bit as far as dates were concerned. Although it was enjoyable and it got good crowds on the Friday and Saturday, positioning it on the weekend after the DylanFest and on the weekend just before people went back to school and college was a mistake.

Next year it is scheduled for August 1st to 3rd. That may be a better weekend.

5. That Moo-licious starts to power up

Mike Murphy (who ran the Bar-a-Cuda) has a background in the dairy industry. It is what he knows best. He started up Moo-licious with a partner from the UK. When it is up and running fully he expects it to create around 30 jobs. It has had a lot of teething problems. However, they have already orders for the first 5 years of production, mainly in the Middle East.

They will be making those little milk containers that you see in restaurants. However, it is not long-life milk but ordinary milk put through a process that keeps it fresh for long periods without changing it. I don’t know what stage Moo-licious is at now but it would make a huge difference to the town and area if it became fully operative next year.

6. That the East Inishowen Business Group start to come up with new initiatives

Most of the businesses in the area are part of this group. The aim is for the businesses to lead a recovery in Moville. They created a new website but not many more initiatives have come to fruition yet. It will be great to see a few of these in 2014.

7. For Derry’s new Science Park to be a Success

Because of the Kelvin Project, Derry now has superfast broadband. It means that any company in the world that needs to process transactions, e.e. the major banks, building societies and insurance companies could potentially set up Datacentres in Derry to process their transactions.

The site just before you get to Sainsbury’s was idle for a while but I see they are now starting to build there. It remains to be seen if the big companies will come to Derry and take advantage of a skilled well-educated workforce at relatively lower wages.

They might!

if they do, that will be a boon not just to Derry but to Moville too. What happens now is that Movillians who go to University or college and get degrees, normally have to go elsewhere to get jobs and fulfill themselves. These will be good jobs in Derry in areas like computers, life sciences, medicine etc. and at least some well-educated Movillians would be able to stay home and still have good jobs.

Well, that’s the wishes that I can think of. If you have any more let me know!