Post Date : Mon 15 Jan 2018 09:27 AM

Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Ruane has said that it is important the Council as a matter of urgency develop and introduce a Policy on the granting of Gaming Licences. The Sinn Féin Newry Mourne & Down Council Group leader also said that there was also an onus on himself and all elected representatives to be alert to concerns about the growing numbers of people presenting with severe gambling problems.

The Councillor explained
"Recent discussions during a Gaming Licence Application highlighted the fact that we as a Licensing Body had no policy on the granting of these licences.  Myself and my colleague Cllr Charlie Casey proposed that our Council Officers prepare a draft policy to take before the appropriate Committee as soon as practically possible, this has now begun. The existence of a clear and robust statement of policy provides greater scope for licensing authorities to work in partnership with operators, other local businesses, communities and responsible authorities to identify and to proactively mitigate local risks to the licensing objectives".
The Councillor cautioned
"Whilst people over the age of 18yrs should be free to spend their recreation time and money as they deem fit, we as Civic leaders should be very alert to the concerns about the growing numbers of people presenting with severe gambling problems. Whilst just as with a tipple of alcohol, for the majority there is no harm, there is an increasing minority now finding those flurries of fun lurching out of control.
Most recent statistics report a doubling in the rate of people presenting with severe gambling problems, increasing to three-times for those aged 18-24. This can hardly be dismissed as merely coincidental with the surge in popularity of online gambling and smart-phone apps. I would expect our Council to support in an appropriate and practical way highlight the issue and support those working to ensure more education and support services to be put in place to help those struggling with the issue".
 Newry City Councillor Charlie Casey echoing his colleague’s sentiments stated,
"I welcome the development of a Gaming Licence Policy by our Newry Mourne & Down Council. Our Council cannot hide its head in the sand in relation to the regulation of the granting of Gaming Licences. There is a Civic and moral duty to ensure that a balance between allowing licences for gambling purposes and the health, well-being and protection of our communities and sustainability of our local economy. 
I share the deep concern of many local people and families about the growth in gambling and in particular with gaming machines there are now about 33,000 FOBTs in Britain & Ireland, a decade ago there were barely any. FOBTs have been dubbed by critics as the “crack cocaine of gambling” because they allow stakes of £100 to be laid every 20 seconds on casino games".
The Sinn Féin elected representative concluded by stating,
"One key element of our Gaming Licence Policy has to be that of protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling".
Post Date : Fri 12 Jan 2018 08:30 PM


     Newry Pool League Individuals 2017/18

              Last 32 To be Arranged


1. Damien McArdle (Hustlers) v Shane McAllister (Hustlers)


2. Brendan McAllister (Nifty Fiftys) v Cathal McCoy (Hustlers)  


3. Cathal Phelan (W/cross) v  Paddy Tavey (CWC A) 


4. Gavin Malone (W/cross) v Darren Devlin (Bosco) 


5. Gerard McGuigan (McGuigans B) v Paddy Clarke (CWC A) 


6. Barney Preece (Dans A) v Noel Donaldson (W/Cross) 


7. Tommy Mooney (Trainors Cam) v Chris McKeown (Foresters)


8. Kieran McMahon (CWC A)  v Niall Connolly (Dans A)


9. Bernie Magee (CWC A) v  Philip Murphy (Hustlers) 


10. Charlie Broughton (Orchard)  v Harvey Lavelle (CWC A)


11. Ryan O Hare (Dans) v Robbie Loughran (Nifty Fifties)


12. Damien Flanagan (McGuigans B) v Stephen Teggart (CWC A)        

13. Pat Brady (CWC A)   v  Jamie Flecther (Boyds)


14. Conor McQuaid (St Moninna)  v John Daly (John Murphys)


15. Declan Brady (St Moninna)  v John Hogan (McGuigans B) 


16 .Richard Fletcher (Boyds) v  Mervyn Kernaghan   (Orchard bar)   


Post Date : Fri 12 Jan 2018 02:05 PM
The number of drivers and motorcyclists detected drink driving during the 2017/18 winter anti-drink drive operation has increased by 15.5%, compared to the same period last year.
According to preliminary figures released today, 357 drink drivers were arrested between 1 December 2017 and 1 January 2018, 48 more than during the same period in 2016/17. 
Commenting on the figures, Inspector Rosie Leech said, “When we launched this operation at the start of December, we warned drivers not to take the risk because just one drink can impair your decision making. Just one drink can cause a collision. Just one drink could kill.
“We tested over 13,000 people during the operation – an increase of over 16% in the number of preliminary roadside breath tests compared with the previous operation.
“We arrested 357 people who failed those tests. Each of those people are now facing the stark reality a court appearance where they will most likely lose their driving license for one or more years, be fined, and will have great difficulty in obtaining car insurance in the future. 
“Many also risk losing their jobs or even going to jail. The alternative consequences had they not been caught do not bear thinking about.
“One person was detected at nearly four times the drink drive limit, with a reading of 133 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millimetres of breath while the legal limit is 35 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath. 
“We shouldn’t be detecting people driving with any alcohol in their system. It’s disappointing that despite our continued warnings, the publicity and media coverage generated by this policing operation, that a minority of people completely disregarded the safety of themselves and others by continuing this shameful and incredibly dangerous practice. 
“Police will continue to use all the powers and legislation at our disposal, including the authorised checkpoints, to detect people who insist on driving after having taken drugs or alcohol. All motorists need to consider the consequences of their actions. Never take the risk of having even one drink if you are driving. The consequences can be catastrophic.
“As we move into a New Year and with the continuing hours of darkness, I want to renew our appeal to all road users and pedestrians to exercise caution and put road safety first. Make extra effort to look out for pedestrians and cyclists particularly along rural roads. Pedestrians and cyclists should wear bright clothing, reflective jackets or armbands where possible to ensure they can be seen. 
“If everyone slowed down, did not drive after drinking or taking drugs, wore a seatbelt and drove with greater care and attention then together we can save lives on our roads.”
The statistical bulletin which contains breakdown of the statistics is available on the police website here:
Post Date : Fri 12 Jan 2018 10:16 AM
Newry Mourne & Down Sinn Féin Councillor Willie Clarke has stated that he shares the deep disappointment of many after the recent Council decision in relation to Council funding including protocols, criteria and procedures for Tourism events within the area.
"Those who portray this decision as in effect ensuring the creation of a larger and more accessible funding stream which represents a fair and more practical approach to funding festivals in our district, are purposely misleading all involved with the promotion of Tourism & Community enhancing based events"
The Councillor explained 
"Sinn Féin supported the proposal where the major Council festivals would be protected and able to absorb the extra £30,000 which would be made available for Community / Voluntary tourism festivals, with a proven track record of delivering a high standard tourism festival experience.
In recent Workshops to discuss a Tourism Funding strategy, I along with other colleagues lobbied for and ensured the maximum level of funding for festivals such as Fiddlers Green, Blues in the Bay and the Soma festival, would be raised from £10,000 to £15,000. This I argued would enable the organisers to continue to expand their festivals. 
The remaining £15,000 would be available to increase the funding for other tourism festivals or allow a number of new festivals to make a bid for funding from the tourism funding pot (£135,000). 
The Festival of Flight which was lauded by all including those who voted against our proposal was to be extended as a 2-day festival, however, this because of the Council decision, will now not happen. 
The Sinn Féin elected representative continued 
"Our proposal also oils have seen the major expansion of The Wake the Giant Festival. This would have included a number of extra giants being located throughout the Council area, with a festival bringing them all together which would have involved schools and communities. The Festival would have concluded with a major Parade in Warrenpoint. Again, these expansions will not happen due to the decision made by Council".
His colleague Councillor Roisin Mulgrew expressing her deep regret at the decision by the Council commented,
"The cutting of the tourism budget forced through council by SDLP, UUP and Independent councillors is reckless, short-sighted and flies in the face of our Councils plan to make Newry Mourne & Down area one of the key tourism regions of the island.
Many including myself believe that Community Groups are being deliberately misled by some of those involved in voting against our proposals. The money removed from the council organised tourism events is to be made available to community-led tourism events. However, the vast majority of community events that receive council funding do so from the voluntary contribution funding stream as they are seen as community events and not economic drivers or likely to attract tourists.
There within, lies the problem and it is one that will cause major problems to most. 
The tourism budget comes from the enterprise regeneration and tourism directorate and the criteria for any groups applying for such funds are extremely rigorous, I have no doubt that many groups will find being eligible for such funding very challenging".
The south Armagh Councillor commenting on what she described as the savage cut in particular to the Footsteps in the Forest Festival stated,
"I and all of my fellow Sinn Fein councillors because of prejudices and spiteful opposition had to fight long and hard to ensure substantial funding and investment for south Armagh and in particular Slieve Gullion. The returns for the investment in terms of benefit to the economy and communities has been excellent.
Slieve Gullion is the most visited Forest Park amenity within the entire council area and is to date the only Park with Green Flag Accreditation. Furthermore, it receives more out of district visitors than any other facility.  
Concluding the Slieve Gullion elected representative stated,

"The decision to slice funding for the key Footsteps in the Forest Festival is a disgrace and should be deemed a very personal attack on all Community activists who for years have fought against the grain to get the Gullion Area respected and treated fairly.  

Post Date : Fri 12 Jan 2018 10:01 AM
Sinn Féin Councillor Darren McNally has said that people are quite rightly fed up with illegal dumping activities and he has appealed for anyone who might be able to give information which would apprehend these "environmental criminals" to contact him or the Councils Environmental Health Department.
The Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon elected representative explained 
"A large number of tyres and bags of rubbish have been dumped this past few nights on the Rock Road and Ballyrath Road.
I've reported these incidents to our environmental health department requesting for the areas to be cleaned up".
The local Councillor continued 
"Those people involved in this selfish environmental criminal activity often pick areas of outstanding beauty or isolated rural roads as they do not care for the community that live in that area. This was the Ballyrath/Rock Roads, a few weeks ago it was Upper Darkley in the recent past it has been Carrickatuke view point.
Where will they dump next time? 
I appeal to anyone who has information about these incidents or other incidents of fly-tipping/dumping to get in contact with environmental health or myself".
He concluded 
"Our communities are fed up with this behaviour! No one has the right to turn our countryside into a rubbish tip. They must be apprehended and made accountable for their actions 

Photo from latest scene of dumped tyres  

Post Date : Thu 11 Jan 2018 12:43 PM

Sinn Féin MP for Newry & Armagh, Mickey Brady, has written to over 40 schools in the constituency in an offer to meet local schoolchildren at the beginning of the new term.

Mickey Brady MP said:
"As the new school term kicks off, I have made contact with over 40 schools in the Newry Armagh area.
"As the MP for this constituency I think it is important that students are fully aware of the role of a public representative.
"I look forward to meeting students in the area for what promises to be an engaging and informative round of visits."
Post Date : Thu 11 Jan 2018 10:46 AM
9th January 2018, Cecil Moses Gillespie passed away peacefully at Ard Mhacha Care Home. Cecil Moses, late of Newry Road, Armagh, dear brother of Charlie, Norman and the late Thompson and Henry.
Funeral Service in Jackson Stoops & Sons Funeral Home, 39 Portadown Road, Armagh BT61 9HE on Friday at 3:00 pm followed by interment at Armagh Presbyterian Cemetery.
No flowers please.
Lovingly remembered by the entire family circle.


Post Date : Thu 11 Jan 2018 10:28 AM
10th January 2018, Olive Higgins passed away peacefully at her home 7a Keady Street, Markethill. Olive, beloved wife of the late Billy, dear mother of William, David, Christina, Margaret and Olivia.
Funeral from her late home on Friday 12th January at 12 noon to Tullyallen
Presbyterian Church for service followed by interment in Tandragee Baptist Churchyard. 
Family flowers only please donations in lieu if desired for Tullyallen Presbyterian Church Building Fund c/o K G Cheevers and Son, Funeral Directors, 28 Dobbin Street, Armagh, BT61 7QQ. 
Lovingly remembered by her sorrowing family and the entire family circle.
Your life was a blessing, your memory a treasure, 

you’re loved beyond words and missed beyond measure. 

Post Date : Thu 11 Jan 2018 10:24 AM
10th January 2018, Patrick James McParland passed away peacefully at home surrounded by his devoted family. 
May he rest in peace. 
Beloved husband of the late Mary and much-loved father of Peter, Owen, James, John, Marie, Lilian, Gerard and Ciara. 
Funeral leaving his home 8 Shaughan Road, Belleeks on Friday 12th January 2018, at 10:30 am for 11 am Requiem Mass in the Church of St. Laurence O'Toole, Belleeks. Interment immediately afterwards in the adjoining cemetery. 
Patrick James will be sadly missed and lovingly remembered by his entire family circle. 

St. Patrick pray for him. 

Post Date : Thu 11 Jan 2018 10:22 AM
10th January 2018, Phyllis Cairns passed away peacefully in Craigavon Area Hospital surrounded by her loving family. Late of Old Bann Road, Banbridge, Phyllis dearest wife of Percy, much loved mother of Adrian, mother in law of Denise, beloved granny of Ashlee, Jasmin and Liam and a great granny of Penny.
House strictly private.
Funeral service on Friday at 2:30 pm in Tullylish Presbyterian Church followed by a private committal.
Family flowers only please, donations in lieu of flowers if desired to MacMillan Cancer Support c/o Milne Funeral Services, 5 Newry Road, Banbridge, BT32 3HF.

Very deeply regretted and sadly missed by the entire family circle.