Post Date : Fri 14 Oct 2016 08:13 AM

 Adults with learning disabilities have recently been participating in the Southern Trust’s Fit 4 U 2 Programme.

Fit 4 U 2 builds on the success of the Fit 4 U Programme, which engages adults with physical and/or sensory disabilities. 

Following a successful pilot programme in Armagh, Fit 4 U 2 is now operating in five Leisure Centres across the Southern Trust area, including Armagh, Dungannon, Craigavon, Banbridge and Newry.   

People with learning disabilities have enjoyed participating in a range of physical activities and sports, including group exercise, circuits, boxercise, boccia, kurling, tai chi, archery, volleyball, badminton and indoor golf.                         

Rhonda Richardson, Fit 4 U Co-ordinator, Southern Trust, explains:

“Fit 4 U 2 aims to empower people with learning disabilities to improve their health and wellbeing through participation in a range of day time physical activity and sports.  Activities are adapted and tailored to meet participant needs and seek to be inclusive and accessible.”  

Fit 4 U 2 is funded by the Public Health Agency and led by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust in partnership with other organisations, including the local Council authorities and Sport NI funded Everybody Active coaches. 

For more information about Fit 4 U 2 and referral to the programme, please contact Rhonda Richardson, Fit 4 U Co-ordinator, Tel. 028 3741 2129 or email

Post Date : Thu 13 Oct 2016 01:00 PM

Sinn Féin MLA for West Belfast, Pat Sheehan, has slammed those responsible for leaving a shotgun in a children's play park on the Whiterock Road.


Speaking today Mr Sheehan said:


“Those responsible for leaving a shotgun at the site of the new children's play park on the Whiterock Road have endangered this community.


”It is completely unacceptable and is to be condemned in the strongest terms.


"This is a new play park being being built in an area that sits beside both a primary school and the local leisure centre.


"It is fortunate that given the amount of children in the area that this has been found and taken off our streets.


"I would appeal to anyone who saw anything suspicious to bring that information to the PSNI."

Post Date : Thu 13 Oct 2016 09:10 AM

Farrell Thomas, died October 12th 2016, peacefully surrounded by his loving family. Beloved husband of the late Kathleen R.I.P. and devoted father of Kieran, Florence, Noel, Angela, Brenda, Tracey and Vanessa. 

His remains will leave his late residence 36, Orior Rd, The Meadow on Friday at 11.45am for 12 noon requiem Mass in St. Brigids Church, burial afterwards in Monkshill Cemetery.

Our Lady Queen of The Most Holy Rosary pray for him. 

Deeply regretted and sadly missed by his sons, daughters, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, grandchildren and entire family circle.

Post Date : Thu 13 Oct 2016 08:55 AM

Newry MLA Conor Murphy has said we must continue to work together across government and other sectors to reduce the suicide rate in the north of Ireland. 

The Sinn Féin MLA was speaking after the thirteenth meeting of the Ministerial Co-ordination Group on Suicide Prevention. 

 “Sadly, the suicide rate remains stubbornly high at around 280 deaths each year despite direct investment under Protect Life of £7million annually.  While there was an increase in suicide in 2015, the three year average rate for the north of Ireland has remained unchanged for the last 10 years.

“I have no doubt that, through the unstinting efforts of community groups and statutory services, lives have been saved. However, every life lost is one too many and we must continue to work together across government and other sectors to reduce the incidence of suicide. 

“There remains a strong health inequality aspect to suicide - in deprived areas, suicide is three times more prevalent than in the least deprived areas, while the incidence of self-harm is four times higher. Men continue to be three times more likely to die by suicide than women.  This health inequality is something that I am determined to address and we must focus our resources on tackling the differential.” 

During the meeting Executive Ministers provided updates on action being taken by their departments to contribute to the drive against suicide  

Health Minister Michelle O’Neill has initiated an all Ireland approach to suicide prevention and mental health and has  also met with community representatives from Belfast who have raised concerns regarding the pressures felt by voluntary and community sector organisations providing suicide prevention services. 

She has opened a major ‘Future Search’ suicide prevention workshop in Belfast at the Titanic Centre. 

The Public Health Agency has consulted on a new model for the Lifeline service and the Minister is considering the PHA consultation report on the proposed future model and options for the commissioning and delivery of the Lifeline service. 

Department of Education have been developing a self-assessment audit tool to assist schools assess progress on promoting and supporting the emotional health and wellbeing of pupils. 

Department of Justice continue to ensure widespread mental health, suicide prevention and self harm awareness training is provided for frontline prison and police custody staff.

Department for Communities will soon be launching a new Young People and Wellbeing programme through the Arts Council and Public Health Agency. 

The new draft Protect Life 2 strategy is also out for consultation. 

“Suicide prevention is a huge challenge to our society and I want to see a consultation process that is meaningful and engages everyone.” 

Anyone who is in distress or despair can contact the Lifeline Helpline on 0808 808 8000. Lifeline is a confidential service, where trained counsellors will listen and help immediately on the phone and follow up with other support if necessary. The helpline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Post Date : Thu 13 Oct 2016 08:50 AM

 Sinn Féin Senator and spokesperson on North-South Integration Niall Ó Donnghaile has said that communities right along the Border will take no heart or reassurance from yesterday's Budget announcements in the Dáil. 

Seanadóir Ó Donnghaile, who attended the Border Communities Against Brexit event in Carrickcarnon at the weekend, said Sinn Féin’s Alternative Budget provided much greater protection for border communities. 

“Despite a mass mobilisation of border communities at the weekend today's Budget doesn't even reference the border,” he said. 

“It is a further indication that this Government is not setting the tone for their negotiations with the Tory Government but rather at such a critical time, have engaged in short term populist moves without seeking to prepare and counter the longer term negative impacts along the Border Corridor. These problems needs a thoughtful, strategic, targeted and bespoke response, at the first opportunity to devise one, the Government has fallen short. 

“The people along both sides of the border and the population in the north who clearly wish to remain deserve better. That is why, in our Alternative Budget, Sinn Féin proposed the setting up of a Border Economic Development Zone to harmonies' trade and maximize prosperity for border business’. 

“Communities along the border deserve investment, stimulus and a government that will stand up for them at the National and European levels. 

“Brexit has forced the hand of this government to act in the national interest. It should have been doing so prior to Brexit. 

“It needs to have an national plan to help create a national economy. I don't see any reference to this fundamental objective in any of the government's proposals today and that will give little reassurance to the Border Communities Against Brexit.” 

PICTURE - Seanadóir Niall Ó Donnghaile with MP Mickey Brady and councillors Charlie Casey and Valerie Harte at the Border Communities Against Brexit rally at Carrickcarnon

Post Date : Wed 12 Oct 2016 09:04 AM

 Gerald will be going to his sister Paula house 55 EDENCRIEVE (Dublin road) at 6pm this evening.

Mass will be at 12.30 on Thursday in the Dominican chapel.

The Kane family would like to thank you all for your kind words and thoughts of Gerry. RIP xxx

Post Date : Wed 12 Oct 2016 08:59 AM

MADDEN, October 10, 2016, suddenly John, beloved husband of the late Noreen, and loving son of Mary and Billy Madden (Dundrum), son-in-law of George and the late Mary Uprichard, much loved father of Kellie and Lisa, proud granda of Keylen, loving partner of Phyllis. 

His remains will leave his late residence, 21 Mourneview Park at 12.15pm on Thursday 13th for 1.00pm Requiem Mass in St Joseph's Church, Ballymartin. Burial afterwards in adjoining cemetery. 

Deeply regretted by his sorrowing daughter Kellie and son-in-law Hugo, daughter Lisa and partner Joe, grandson, mother, father, sisters Ann, Maura, and Josephine, brothers Eamon, Seamus, Liam, Paul and Martin, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law and entire family circle. 

Sacred Heart of Jesus have mercy on his soul. 

Family flowers only, please. Donations in lieu if desired to Newry Hospice, c/o N. Doran Funeral Directors, 35 Newry Street, Kilkeel or any family member.

Post Date : Wed 12 Oct 2016 08:58 AM

McGivern (nee Smylie ) died 11th October 2016 peacefully at her home, Maureen Teresa, R.I.P. beloved wife of Tony and much loved mother of Martin, Patricia and Kieran.

Scared Heart of Jesus have mercy on her soul.

Her remains will leave her home 32 Edenderry Gardens, on Thursday at 11:30 am for 12:00 noon funeral Mass in the Church of St Therese Scarva Road. Interment afterwards in the cemetery adjoining All Saints Church Ballela.

Deeply regretted by her sorrowing husband, sons, daughter, grandchildren, sister Kathleen, son in law, daughters in law, nephew, niece, family circle and friends. Family flowers only.

Donations in lieu if desired to Alzheimer's Society C/o Digney Funeral Directors 7 Old Kenlis St Banbridge.

Post Date : Wed 12 Oct 2016 08:54 AM

MAGOWAN October 9, 2016, Shirley, suddenly at hospital, dearly loved wife of the late Joseph and loving mother of Lorraine, Paul and Nigel. 

Funeral from her late home, 11 Clonduff Road, Hilltown on Wednesday at 1.00pm for service in Hilltown Presbyterian Church at 2.00pm followed by interment in the adjoining burying ground. 

House private, family flowers only please. Donations is desired for Southern Area Hospice, c/o Robert J Bready Funeral Director, 22 Newry Road, Rathfriland, BT34 5AL. 

Will be lovingly remembered and sadly missed by her daughter, sons, son-in-law Derek, daughters-in-law Sharon and Julie, grandchildren David, Jonathon, William and Joseph. 

Post Date : Wed 12 Oct 2016 08:53 AM

McCONVILLE (Limerick and Banbridge) Vincent, October 9, 2016. Beloved father of John, Martin, Bobby and Eva and the late Aidan, adored grandfather of James, Elizabeth, Nadia, Victoria, Maria, Ryan and Holly-Mae, great grandfather of Sierra, Oisin and Ronan. 

Removal to St Patrick's Church, Dromore Street, Banbridge, Co Down at 6.00pm on Tuesday and Requiem Mass on Wednesday at 11.00am followed by interment in St Patrick's Cemetery, Banbridge. 

His passing is deeply regretted by his sons, daughter and their partners, grandchildren, great grandchildren, sisters-in-law, nieces, nephews and the entire McConville family circle. 

Family flowers only and donations in lieu to the Alzheimer's Society. 

May he rest in peace.