Local News for Monday 15th May 2017

‘Business as usual’ in Isles health services
The international crisis of computer software which affected NHS Western Isles, along with hundreds of other organisations nationwide, will not have any effect on patient services today, a spokesman has said. Services at Western Isles Hospital and with GP practices through the islands will be operating as usual today, and it’s not anticipated that there will be any changes to clinics or appointments. The malicious software, which locked down computers in 12 out of 14 Scottish health boards, has been isolated, according to Scottish health secretary Shona Robison. An NHS Western Isles spokesman said: “The only problem we experienced was in transferring x-rays images to other hospitals, but this did not affect the delivery of our services here. Everything is running as we would expect and it will be business as usual on Monday.”


 
Election campaign ramps up
The General Election campaign is moving up a gear, with the SNP campaign headquarters open and Scottish Labour’s party leader Kezia Dugdale at Labour HQ. Ms Dugdale was in the Western Isles on Friday to support Na h-Eileanan an Iar candidate Ealasaid MacDonald, and took in visits to the union members taking strike action at Lews Castle College, as well as to Charles M Macleod butchers, where she sampled Charlie Barley’s famous Stornoway Black Pudding. Ms Dugdale said: “Food and drink exports are a key part of the Scottish economy, particularly our island economies. They secure jobs, grow the economy and are essential to the distinctive nature of our country. The Tories' reckless Brexit gamble has put Scottish exports, like black puddng, Scotch beef and whisky, at risk”.
SNP candidate Angus MacNeil opened his campaign rooms on Friday evening. The rooms at 33 Bayhead Street, Stornoway will now be the centre of activity for the campaign and will be open Monday to Saturday until June 8th. Mr MacNeil said: “It has been a great privilege to represent the people of Na h-Eileanan an Iar in Parliament and I hope to continue to do that after June 8th. The circumstances of this election are unique in that it follows a move of panic by the Prime Minister who knows she isn’t going to get a deal on trade with Europe. The SNP have been the only effective opposition to the Tories in this Parliament”.
Also standing for the Western Isles constituency are John Cormack for the Scottish Christian party, Scottish Conservative and Unionist candidate Daniel McCroskrie and Scottish Lib Dem candidate James Paterson.
 
Coastguard incidents
Stornoway’s search and rescue helicopter has been operating for 30 years, and the crew has been busy over the weekend. After a dramatic rescue of a fallen walker on Thursday, on Saturday the crew were tasked to Quiraing in Skye, where a 40-year-old Dutch walker had fallen and split her head. Coastguard volunteers manned landing sites in Broadford and Stornoway, and the woman was brought to Western Isles Hospital for treatment.
 
Stornoway coastguard volunteers were out locally on Saturday, advising youths playing on a tidal island within the harbour area about water safety. The island, just beyond Goat Island, is cut off at high tide, and the Coastguard volunteers are keen to emphasise the importance of sensible behaviour near water, especially when warm weather draws more people to the shore. A spokesman said: “Be safe near water, and consider the tides and the weather conditions. We know that people want to enjoy the shore in the summer, but make sure that you and your friends are safe while doing so.”
 
One of the soldiers taking part in construction work on footpaths for the North Harris Trust caused concern on Saturday night, when he went out for a walk around midnight and was reported missing on Scalpay. Army personnel set out to search at the same time as notifying Stornoway Coastguard, and the man was found safe and well around 20 minutes later.
 
Cruise ship
The cruise ship Le Boreal is coming in to Stornoway today, bringing up to 264 passengers in luxury accommodation. The French-operated ship also has 140 crew and will be at Pier No 3 for her only planned visit this summer.
 
Athletics
There were medals galore for athletes from Stornoway Running and Athletics Club at the North District championships in Inverness over the weekend. Joanna Gillies opened the club’s account with bronze in the under-20 1500 metres on Friday night, swiftly followed by two silvers in the under-20 200 metres from Eilidh Macleod and Andrew Horne, both with personal best times. The gold medals on Saturday included senior Eve Carrington’s 400 metre hurdles and under-15 hurdles champion Gemma Macritchie with a personal best. David Morrison and Michael Macmillan were among those who took golds, and Angela Horne has a medal of each colour. The full results will be up soon on the SRAC website shortly.
 
Football
In first round matches of the Highland Amateur Cup at the weekend, Point defeated Westside 2-nil at Garrabost and will now meet Maryburgh on June 3rd in the second round. Iochdar Saints will come up against Kirkwall Hotspurs on the same date, after beating Stornoway United 3-1 on Saturday. Ness will travel away to Hill Rovers after a 5-2 win against Southend, Aths travel to meet Rendall after their 4-1 win over Back on Saturday, Carloway are through to a second round tie with Avoch, thanks to a single goal win over Lochs on Friday and Benbecula beat North Uist 6-nil to win their second round contest against ANM Ace.
There’s a Jock Stein cup semi-final match tonight between Point and Lochs at Creagan Dubh, kick-off is at 7pm. The other semi will be played on Wednesday night between Westside and Ness at Barvas.