The Leader, Deireadh Fómhair 1988

"The Leader'', Lower Main St. Letterkenny. 2 Our November edition should be on sale towards the end of this month. Last date for receipt of copy is October 21st. We'd like to welcome our new readers in Ramelton, Milford, Raphoe and Bally– bofey. Again we'd like to thank all our readers for supporting this magazine, and to thank our adverti– sers for making the printing of it possible. "The Editor". WI/lie McElhlnney and Peter McLaughlln, O'Donnell Park, 1957. When I met Willie McElhinney in the garage behind his home in Port Rd., Letterkenny, he was getting ready to start up his BSA motorbike. We pushed herout ofthe garageand suddenlythe350cc engine spluttered to life andWillie jumped into the saddle and rode her round his back yard. Hard to believe it, but he bought this very same machine on 1st March 1950. "I bought her in McCauley's Gar– age for£167", recallsWillie," a lot ofmoneyin those days,when a week'swages was £5-£6. Although she was a road bike,Willie had a passion for racing, and very soon he joined the Letterkenny and District Motorcycle club. The club was formed in 1952 and organised motorbike races right up until 1970, when the troubles in the North and a decline in in– terest brought an end to the sport. Track racing at– tracted huge crowds in the 50s and early 60s, and the competition was fierce. The big annual event in Letterkenny was held in O'Donnell Park, and many a battle was fought between Willie and Peter McLoughlin, his great rival from Newtown. Bet– ween them, they dominated the Donegal Cham– pionships for many years. Willie won the premier in 1956, 1960 and 1963, while Peter was champion in 1955, 1957, 1958 and 1959. Harry McMullan from Killea was another great rider, who trium– phed in 1961, 1962 and 1964. Willie worked for years in the P.M.P.A. gar– age in Letterkenny, until its closure a fewyears ago. He had retired from racing in the mid-sixties, and the BSAlayhalf-dismantled undera pile of rubbish in his back garage. Recently, she was resurrected, put back together and the engine overhauled. Now, Willie hopes to completely restore his faith– ful machine, 38 years old and still going strong. The motorcyle club has recently been re– vived as the Errigal Motorcyle Oub, and Eamonn O'Donnell is the current Donegal Champion. Wil– lie still follows the sport as a spectator, and was at Manor for last Sunday's event. The Hondas and Yamahas now rule the roost, but ifbikes could talk, BSA registration number IH8210would have tales of thrills and spills and excitement to tell... 1000 UP AND GROWING MORE HELP FOR FAMILIES OF ALCOHOLICS Al-Anon, which helps families and friends of problem drinkers, is celebrating its 1000th group in the UK and Ireland. In the last three years, groups have been opening at an average of one a week, and the rate is accelerating. Al-Anon believes this spectacular growth is set to continue. Every problem drinker can deeply affect four or five otherpeople - ranging from close fam– ily to friends and work colleagues. Al-Anon shows them howto copewith their difficulties and its suc– cess can be vouched for by many thousands in the UK & Ireland. Al-Anon welcomes anyone who has diffi– culty in coping with a problem drinker, no matter what the relationship or background. Meetings are completely confidential, and there are no fees for membership. For further information and details of local groups etc. write to: Al-Anon Family Groups UK & Ireland, 61, Great Dover Street, London, SE1 4YF or phone Dublin (01) 774195 Meet Donna McCormick (19) from Upper Ard O'Donnell, Letterkenny. By the time you read this the lovely Donna will be sunning herself in Majorca. She works in Pat's Pizza, Market Square and in her spare time enjoys Cooking, Mountaineering, Barn Dances, Break– Dancing andCountry & Western music. Her ideal man would be Gay Byrne - after ofcourse the prominent local D.J. to whomshe soongets engaged. Lucky D.J.!