Post Date : Fri 14 Oct 2016 08:42 AM

Gerald's funeral mass is at 1pm today in the Dominican Church. The funeral leaves his sister Paula's home at 12.30pm. 

Post Date : Fri 14 Oct 2016 08:36 AM

QUINN Annette (nee Whitfield) died October 12th 2016 peacefully surrounded by her loving family. 

Wife of the late Eddie R.I.P. and devoted mother of Eamonn, Elaine and Sean. 

Her remains will leave her late residence 9, St Brigid’s Park, Camlough on Saturday at 10.30am for 11.00am funeral mass in S.S. Peter & Paul’s Church, Bessbrook, burial afterwards in St. Malachy’s cemetery, Carrickcruppin. 
Our Lady Queen of The Most Holy Rosary pray for her. 

Deeply regretted and sadly missed by her sons, daughter, daughters-in-law Brigid and Bernadette, her grandchildren, and entire family circle.

Post Date : Fri 14 Oct 2016 08:33 AM

EDGAR - October 12, 2016, (peacefully), at Brooklands Nursing Home, Kilkeel, Jane, dearly beloved wife of the late Arthur and much loved mother of Anne and Sharon and devoted grandmother.

Funeral Service on Friday at 2.30pm in Mourne Presbyterian Church. 

Family flowers only please. Donations in lieu of flowers, if desired, for Brooklands Nursing Home Comforts Fund, c/o Mrs Anne Hanna, 6 Ballyardle Road, Kilkeel BT34 4JU.

Will be sadly missed by all her family.

"The Lord is my Shepherd."

Post Date : Fri 14 Oct 2016 08:27 AM

Health Minister Michelle O’Neill MLA has today welcomed two new services in the Southern Health and Social Care Trust which aim to help people with mental health issues through their recovery process. 

The Wellmind Hub and Recovery College have been launched by the Southern Trust to mark Mental Health Awareness Week.  

One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year.  

Co-produced by service users, carers and staff, the Recovery College programme aims to provide educational courses for people with mental health difficulties. In addition to helping people learn about recovery and manage their own mental health and wellbeing the wide range of courses available help families, friends and carers to understand mental health conditions so they are able to support their loved one on their recovery journey.  

Initially set up in the Armagh and Dungannon area, Wellmind Hubs offer a range of support options for people with common mental health conditions for example, anxiety, stress or low mood. Care is offered by a range of independent sector providers, community groups or from within the Hub, depending on the needs of the person. It is hoped by addressing these difficulties at an early stage the need for a referral to secondary health and social care services will be prevented.   

Welcoming the two new initiatives, Francis Rice, Chief Executive (Interim) of the Southern Health and Social Care Trust said:  

“In the Southern area we are committed to taking a recovery approach in addressing mental health issues – helping people to find ways of leading meaningful lives, with or without the symptoms of their condition.  

“We are delighted to offer these two new services which have been very much developed in partnership with people who have experienced mental health issues, along with our voluntary and community partners.

“We hope that the Wellmind Hubs and Recovery College will help more people to recognise and address their symptoms at a very early stage and support them on their recovery journey with a much better quality of life.”

Post Date : Fri 14 Oct 2016 08:19 AM

 Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy said the current pricing battle between supermarkets and multinational companies highlights the cost of Brexit for households.

The Chair of the Economy Committee said:

“The current supermarket battle with multinational companies over the pricing of goods on our shelves is indicative of the negative impact of Brexit.

“The fact that multinational companies are now seeking to protect their profits and those of their shareholders following a drop in the value of sterling will undoubtedly lead to higher prices for consumers.

“Given that the people of the north already have the highest cost of living, above England, Scotland and Wales, this will have a greater impact here.

“Brexit will ultimately see people paying more for their goods and food items as we are largely dependent on imports. The cost of imports has risen with a drop in the value of the pound and this will have knock-on effects.

“The Westminster Tory cabinet of millionaires will surely not feel such an impact, but the ordinary man and woman on the street will. It boils down to one thing – Brexit doesn’t mean Brexit, it means higher costs and greater hardship.” 

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