Post Date :
Tue 13 Nov 2018 09:21 AM
Cliftonville treble blast leaves Newry City stunned


Ruthless Cliftonville made Newry City pay for their wastefulness in front of goal with a comeback victory at Solitude last night. After taking a fourth minute lead through Darragh Noonan, the Danske Bank Premiership’s basement boys passed up a series of golden opportunities to really turn the screw on the Reds before the hosts responded with three strikes in a whirlwind eight-minute spell before half-time.

Rory Donnelly drew them level after a smart one-two with Chris Curran and, after Joe Gormley banked his obligatory goal, Ryan Curran wrapped things up with the hosts’ third – although the strike was mired in controversy, with Newry adamant that a Cliftonville player had put the ball out of play in the build-up. That anger need not have materialised had Darren Mullen’s men built on their bright start. A free-kick on the left saw Hughes brothers Mark and Stephen enact a training ground routine that ended with Noonan finding the net at the far post. Soon later, Stephen Hughes dragged an attempt wide after being slipped through by Stephen Teggart before Mark McCabe could only find the side netting when he looked certain to double the visitors’ advantage. Cliftonville, who had gone close through a header from Rory Donnelly and snapshot from Gormley, heeded the ample warnings that had been sent their way and drew level on 24 minutes when Donnelly skipped past keeper Andy Coleman after Chris Curran’s delightful touch had opened a gap in the heart of the Newry defence.

It wasn’t long before the Reds were in front; Rory Donnelly again involved with a teasing cross that was simply crying out for the conversion that an unmarked Gormley provided. Within three minutes, it was 3-1 – much to City’s fury. The officials’ failure to award a goal kick, rather than a corner, allowed Levi Ives to swing the set-piece in and, when the ball dropped inside the box, Ryan Curran pounced to give Coleman no chance. A raking Ives pass looked to have set Jay Donnelly up for the home team’s fourth only for Noonan to produce an excellent last-gasp challenge that maintained the Reds’ two-goal cushion at the interval. 

The second period failed to live up to the drama of the first, although that might not have been the case had both goalkeepers not excelled themselves on two occasions each.

The second period failed to live up to the drama of the first, although that might not have been the case had both goalkeepers not excelled themselves on two occasions each.

Post Date :
Tue 30 Oct 2018 09:25 AM
Newry chosen to host 2019 UK and Ireland Pride festival


The announcement was made this week in Glasgow at the annual UK Pride Organisers Network conference.

The European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA) also announced that the city would host the next conference in March next year, which will coincide with the weekend that the UK officially leaves the European Union.

Each year, a different local Pride event is selected by the network to host UK Pride. And 2019 will see the turn of Newry.

This year saw the Isle of Wight take centre stage as they hosted Pride in July, where more than 15,000 people, lined the streets.

In their bid document, Pride in Newry stated they were “perfectly placed” to host the event, given their close proximity to the border.

It added: “Visitors have been flocking to this vibrant city for many years to enjoy its location, history, shopping, restaurant scene and nightlife.

“Often referred to as ‘Gateway to the North’, Newry lies three miles from the Irish border, it sits snugly amidst the natural splendour of the Mourne Mountains and the Ring of Gullion.”

Pride in Newry also spoke of the inequality within this country commenting Northern Ireland is “not a rights-based society” and said they are “deprived of a government willing to implement legislation”.

Rory Rafferty, Newry Pride Chairperson, speaking to Armagh I, said: “In the immediate wake of the Supreme Court ruling on the gay cake case and indeed the failure of the latest private members bill on same sex marriage in Westminster on Friday, this status will reinvigorate a downtrodden but resolute community.”



He added: “It is a good news story in a climate of uncertainty, setback and inequality.

“We are proud of Newry and are delighted to be the first on the Island of Ireland to be awarded such a coveted accolade.”

SDLP MLA Justin McNulty and party colleague councillor Pete Byrne have Congratulated the Newry Rainbow Community following their successful bid.

“This is fantastic news for Newry and in particular for the Newry Rainbow Community,” said Mr McNulty.

“The entire team behind this bid must be congratulated. The group organise many events throughout the year and I know they will put the same determination into making this event a success.

“Pride and the ethos behind the movement is about equality, respect and tolerance. I can think of no better place than Newry to host these prestigious awards.

“We now need to see the statutory agencies row in behind this successful bid and help promote this region and indeed the work Newry Rainbow Community do in this area.”

Councillor Byrne added: “This is fantastic news for the Newry Rainbow Community who have worked tirelessly to ensure a successful bid to host the UK and Ireland Pride 2019.

“I have had the privilege of working with and getting to know many members of the NRC committee over the last three years and their commitment to fostering a place which allows for visibility and inclusion for LGBT people is relentless.

“We cannot thank them enough for their efforts in delivering a message of hope and acceptance in our communities.

“Our attention must now move to delivering an extraordinary Pride In Newry festival in 2019.

“Council must make sure that the NRC committee has the resources that it needs to pull of an event which will be talked about for years to come.

“Newry has been given an opportunity to showcase itself and we must do all we can to support the NRC in its preparation for its festival next year.

“In addition to the UK and Ireland Pride, the European Pride Organisers Association have announced that they will be hosting their conference in Newry next March.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for Newry and this region to showcase our area and it will be a fantastic year for Newry.”

Sinn Féin equality spokesperson MLA Megan Fearon, said: “I would like to congratulate Pride in Newry for winning this bid, it is a huge achievement and will be a boost for the area.

“It is also a reward for all their hard work and determination in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in the north.

“In recent years we have seen large numbers on the streets of Newry in a display of unity and determination to end the disgraceful denial of rights, including marriage equality, by the DUP and facilitated by the British government in the north.


Post Date :
Mon 22 Oct 2018 08:27 AM
No hard border in Ireland in our lifetimes ex-taoiseach tells Newry dinner

FORMER taoiseach Bertie Ahern told a Brexit-fatigued Newry business audience: "I genuinely believe there will not be a hard border in Ireland in our lifetimes”.

He also said: "Brexit is bad for Ireland, bad for the UK and bad for the EU, but in the situation we find ourselves in, we must all do our best to protect everything that has been achieved in the past decades and make sure the particular interests of this island, north and south, are protected."

Mr Ahern, who was the Republic's premier from 1997 to 2008, was addressing 300 guests at the Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade's annual president's dinner.

He fulfilled the long-standing engagement despite Paddy Duffy, one of his closest advisers and friends, having died in London the previous day while preparing to board a flight from Heathrow to Dublin, having just returned from Papau New Guinea with the ex-taoiseach.

While Mr Ahern's address focused primarily on Brexit, he also touched on the lack of a Stormont government, which he said was “appalling, pathetic and sad”, and he labelled the actions of some of the political parties as “Banana Republic stuff”.

"It would be my hope that the institutions get back up and running and working for all the people of Northern Ireland, because their current absence cannot be underestimated in terms of seriousness," he said.

"The devolved institutions are at the heart of the Good Friday Agreement and the only way forward for Northern Ireland.

"The Executive and Assembly are urgently required to be the voice for Northern Ireland in dealing with the challenges of Brexit. Continuing divisions between communities here still need to be addressed."

Praising the work of the Newry Chamber, he said: "You and the companies you represent have been to the forefront in promoting and supporting north-south cooperation and you understand the benefits, potential and challenges across all your sectors.

"Your advocacy work has also been enormously important and influential in growing north-south connections and developing the all-island economy.

"North-south economic and social cooperation has benefited people across the island, and supported the development of an all-island economy that has enhanced the prosperity of all.

"Protecting these gains is not just about ensuring frictionless trade; it is also about facilitating peoples' lives and livelihoods. Fundamentally, this is about peace, reconciliation and prosperity."

Mr Ahern the Irish Government remains adhered to the protection of the Good Friday Agreement in all of its parts.

He said: "At the heart of this is the invisible border, which in some ways is the most obviously tangible symbol of the peace process.

"It has allowed relationships and communities to be rebuilt following years of conflict. It has allowed social, political and commercial relationships to flourish and thrive across Ireland.

"The issues are well-known to all of us. The solutions at this stage might not seem as clear as we would like. But I do believe that we are closer now and that a deal does appear to be in sight."

Post Date :
Fri 19 Oct 2018 08:39 AM
PSNI commitment to address 'boy racers' on old Dublin Road in Newry

Sinn Féin Councillor Liz Kimmins has said a commitment by the PSNI to tackle the scourge of “boy racers” in the Old Dublin Road locality would help ensure that the community and roads would be safer and that ultimately it would help save lives.

The local Councillor explained,

“Following on-going concerns raised by local residents living close to the Old Dublin Road regarding the anti-social behaviour associated with the gathering of cars in this area, I am very pleased that the PSNI have indicated they will take a pro-active approach to dealing with this”.

The elected representative continued 

“Local residents are tormented on a regular basis with the noise from the large numbers of cars that gather in this border area for “diffing” and other criminal anti social behaviour, including obstructing  the road, disrupting other motorists who
are trying to pass through safely”.

The Sinn Féin elected representative speaking about her meeting with the PSNI stated,

“I met with representatives from the South Armagh PSNI and raised these issues as a matter of serious concern, and they have advised they will be taking action to deal with this.

"This serious anti social activity has to be challenged and those engaged in it need to face the full rigours of the law.

"We have to ensure the safety and well being of our communities and ultimately tackling this “boy racer” scourge will, I have no doubt, help save lives

The local Councillor has requested a joint meeting with PSNI & Gardai representatives to discuss the issue.

“I have also requested a joint meeting with PSNI and Gardai to formulate a more efficient cross border approach, as those involved tend to flee across the border when police attend the scene.

"Whilst the PSNI have said they do work in partnership with the Gardai in relation to criminal and anti social activities, they will as I have requested, arrange a meeting to discuss this specific issue”.

Concluding the Councillor said,

“I would also strongly urge anyone who witnesses these events to contact the PSNI on 101 as quickly as possible”.

Post Date :
Thu 18 Oct 2018 08:19 AM
First Derivatives in deal with South Korea's BISTel

 Financial technology firm First Derivatives has agreed a deal with BISTel, a provider of smart manufacturing solutions headquartered in South Korea.

The deal will see the South Korean firm use the Newry-based company's Kx for Sensors and kdb+ products in its product line. 

FD said that under the terms of the deal, many of BISTel's products will have "Kx Inside" within the next two years, with the first deployments expected in the first half of 2019.

BISTel supplies adaptive intelligence (AI) applications that combine embedded human knowledge and advanced engineering automation solutions to help factories to better detect, analyse, predict, and prescribe solutions to complex manufacturing problems in real-time.

"This is a further important contract win for Kx in the Industrial Internet of Things, reflecting our growing presence in this market and our technology lead," commented Brian Conlon, chief executive of FD. 

"Kx provides higher performance, greater scalability and lower total cost of ownership than competing solutions and we are engaged in multiple conversations across manufacturing, and other industries, with potential customers attracted by these benefits," he added.

Post Date :
Wed 17 Oct 2018 09:37 AM
Claire’s accessories in Craigavon and Newry facing uncertain future

Fashion accessories retailer Claire’s is facing the threat of insolvency – placing the future of two local stores in Craigavon and Newry under threat.

The two stores – in Rushmere Shopping Centre and The Quays in Newry – are just two of 14 sites across Northern Ireland facing an uncertain future.

The Press Association (PA) said the High Street chain was talking to restructuring firms about “a number of options”.

However, Claire’s chief executive Ron Marshall told PA it had no plans for either a CVA or major store closures in the UK “in the foreseeable future”.

“Any stores we do close or open in the UK would be as part of our normal course of business,” he added.

The news comes just days after the chain’s US parent company announced that it had emerged from Chapter 11 protection after filing for bankruptcy earlier this year.

Post Date :
Mon 15 Oct 2018 12:45 PM
Evelyn Halliday's grief as husband and daughter killed in Newry crash

A pensioner who lost her husband and daughter in a road crash on the A1 dual carriageway at the weekend has spoken of her devastation.

Newry woman Evelyn Halliday (83) will bury her late partner Raymond and daughter Anna Dodds in separate funeral services tomorrow.

Mr Halliday (87) and 47-year-old Ms Dodds had been travelling in a Skoda Fabia when it was involved in a collision with a lorry and a Ford Focus at the Moneymore Road junction outside the city on Friday at around 2.45pm.

Mr Halliday had been taking his stepdaughter - Mrs Halliday's daughter from her first marriage - to Banbridge, where she had been due to catch a bus with friends to attend a country music concert in Belfast.

Mr Halliday died at the scene while Ms Dodds, who was single, passed away a short time later in hospital. Two other people were injured.

One, who was taken to Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry, was reported to be in a stable condition on Saturday, while no update has been given on the condition of the other person, who was receiving treatment in Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital.

Floral tributes for the two have since been left where the collision took place. They are the latest people to lose their lives on the main Belfast to Dublin route in recent years.

Mrs Halliday said yesterday that she was still struggling to take in the shocking news of her loved-ones' deaths.

"It still hasn't hit me," she said, describing her late husband of 25 years as a "true gentleman".

The great-grandmother said her daughter, who lived in Bessbrook, Co Armagh, was "completely devoted" to her nieces and nephews, having already bought them their Christmas presents.

"Anna was going to the Farmers' Bash at the SSE Arena. She loved country and western music. She lived for her family," she said.

"Raymond was a gentleman. He was a brilliant husband. He would make me breakfast in bed every day.

"He was a great storyteller, he could tell hundreds of jokes. Raymond loved fishing and watching football."

Mrs Halliday said that her husband would have done anything for her daughter, and vice versa. "Anna loved treating him with clothes and Raymond would have taken her anywhere she needed to go," she explained.

While the circumstances of the collision have yet to be established, it occurred at one of the A1's gap junctions, where vehicles can turn right across the central reservation.

Mrs Halliday urged the authorities to take action to make safety improvements on the A1 amid fresh concerns at the number of fatal collisions on the route since 2014.

In May Co Down man Karl Heaney (27) died in a two-vehicle collision between Banbridge and Dromore, while in 2015 three young male friends were killed while travelling to Newry.

The previous year two nuns, Sisters Marie Duddy and Frances Forde, were killed in a collision involving an unmarked police vehicle.

Upper Bann MLA Carla Lockhart said that in light of the latest crash, capital funding should be made available in order to close off the remaining gaps in junctions.

"Discussions have been taking place on how we can close (these off without) inconveniencing local residents and frequent users," she explained.

Ms Dodds and Mr Halliday will be laid to rest in graveyards at Ryans Presbyterian Church, Newry, and St Luke's Parish Church, Mullaglass, respectively tomorrow.

Post Date :
Thu 11 Oct 2018 08:15 AM
Men raided Tesco and took more than £15,000 worth of items, High Court told

 THREE men took more than £15,000 worth of alcohol and other products in a series of raids on Tesco stores across Northern Ireland, the High Court heard today.

Brothers Cosmin Barbu (34) and Dumitru Barbu (29) were joined by their cousin Adrian Olteanu (34) in loading trolleys full of drink, covering them with towels and walking out without paying, a judge was told.

Tesco outlets in Lisburn, Newry and Banbridge were targeted between September 23 to 28.

A Crown lawyer revealed the total value of goods is expected to rise above £15,000 once final stock checks are completed.

"These three appear to have gone on a complete shoplifting spree over a period of six days," he said.

The three accused, all Romanian nationals, were said to have admitted their involvement in the thieving operation.

The men, all with an address at Mount Rochford Drive, Balbriggan, face charges of theft, attempted theft and handling stolen goods.

Further allegations of going equipped for theft are denied, with the defendants claiming the towels used to cover up the trolley-loads were taken from the stores.

According to the prosecution they stacked up on bottles of alcohol, left the stores and either loaded a nearby car or abandoned the trolleys if they were being watched.

The trio then returned to steal again during the spate of raids, it was claimed.

They were arrested after police stopped an Audi A4 car on the A1 near Lisburn. Large quantities of alcohol with security tags still attached was discovered in the boot.

"At this particular time, with much of the stocktaking having been carried out, I understand the total value of thefts from Testo is £15,097," the prosecutor added.

Defence counsel contended that it had not been a sophisticated operation.

"They simply used a towel to cover it and blatantly walked out of the stores," he said.

"It would seem that then they got away with it the first time they simply kept doing the same thing."

All three defendants were refused bail due to concerns they may flee or re-offend.

Post Date :
Wed 10 Oct 2018 08:36 AM

Shelbourne Motors has partnered with Renault to bring the French car manufacturer to its new £5m multi-franchise complex in Newry.

Renault is the second manufacturer to be confirmed for the facility as building work commences on the 50,000 sq ft development. Kia was the first brand to be confirmed for the site.

The deal bolsters the family-owned vehicle retailer's relationship with Renault having operated a franchise of the brand at its Portadown headquarters since 2003.

Caroline Willis, financial director of Shelbourne Motors, said: "Our long-term relationship with Renault made the manufacturer an obvious fit for this new development and it demonstrates their confidence in our business to incorporate a brand-new dealership into our Newry expansion."

Newry-based O’Hare & McGovern has been appointed as the contractor and work has commenced on building the complex.

The facility will create 60 new jobs.

Shelbourne Motors was founded by the Ward Family in 1973 and currently employs over 130 staff at its nine-acre Portadown headquarters.

Post Date :
Mon 08 Oct 2018 08:31 AM
Newry Mitchels GAA club could lose pitch to make way for road

A NEWRY GAA club is set to lose its pitch to make way for "one of the most challenging ever" roads to be built in Northern Ireland.

The creation of a new proposed route linking the main Belfast to Dublin road with the Warrenpoint dual carriageway could see the road slice through the home of Newry Mitchels at Gerry Brown Park.

It is among a number of significant challenges facing road planners in the building of the new Newry southern relief road, which could also impact some people living in the Fathom area of the city.

SDLP councillor Michael Savage said concerns of residents and members of Newry Mitchels "must be addressed as the project progresses".

The preferred route was announced by the Department for Infrastructure last week after it was selected from a list of five proposals.

Linking the A1 Belfast to Dublin road with the Warrenpoint dual carriageway, it would allow traffic to travel to and from Warrenpoint Port without having to drive through central Newry.

The preferred route would stretch from the Greenbank Industrial Estate to Ellisholding Junction approaching the Republic's M1.

Described by roads enthusiast Wesley Johnston as "one of the most challenging ever conceived here", among the challenges facing planners is that the route is expected to pass close to the quarry at Drumalane as well as an ancient woodland.

A two-lane bridge over Newry canal and a climbing lane up Fathom Mountain will also have to be built.

The proposal, which is subject an Environmental Impact Assessment, a public consultation and funding approval, comes just five years after plans to build the nearby cross-border Narrow Water Bridge, across the Newry River linking counties Down and Louth, were shelved.

While a detailed design of the new road is not expected to be completed until late 2019, there are already concerns from local people about the impact it will have.

It is believed Newry Mitchels will face significant change if the road is given the final go-ahead, as it will go directly through its land.

Founded in 1956, the club has won four Down senior titles in the 1960s and boasts the likes of Sean O’Neill, Kevin O’Neill and Val Kane in their ranks down the years.

Just last year the club called on the community to rally as they try to fend off the threat of folding amid a struggle for numbers.

Newry SDLP councillor Michael Savage, who has been liaising with residents and Newry Mitchels said their concerns have to be considered by planners going forward.

"Back in April I was approached by residents of Fathom area of Newry who will be impacted greatly by the construction of the southern relief road and held several meetings with them and facilitated engagement at a full consultation and one to one discussion with DFI officials leading this scheme back in May," he said.

"Newry, Mourne and Down council fully supports this vital infrastructure project which will help sustain and grow our economy in the city and district and assist in the development of Warrenpoint Harbour.

"I fully support the need for this scheme and agree with the business case for it but also believe that the needs and concerns of the residents of Fathom and the members of Mitchels GAC impacted by the new road must be addressed and their voices heard.

"I have received a commitment from DFI officials that they will take the time to engage fully with residents and work through the issues over the coming months and I will hold them to that.

"I want to see this road scheme completed to boost our economy and ease traffic congestion and reduce high levels of pollution in Newry but I also want to see it completed with the support of residents impacted by it.

"This is a very difficult road scheme to engineer and it is important that the time is taken to deal with the environmental, maritime and heritage challenges and ensure that the families who own the nine properties impacted by the scheme, some of whom have lived there for generations are treated fairly by DFI."

Mr Savage said that a "full consultation is planned with Newry Mitchels GAC members who will lose their pitch in the proposed scheme".

"I have raised the issue of Newry Mitchels losing its pitch as part of this scheme with those leading the project," he said.

"I welcome the engagement that is planned between DfI officials to discuss compensating the club and working with council to find a new home for Mitchels when the road progresses.

"Like the residents of Fathom the members of Mitchels need to have their needs met and a new pitch must be identified and developed before construction.

"This new road is a significant boost for Newry and I welcome it, however, the success of the scheme will be judged on the level of partnership reached with the residents and the club that are in its path."

The proposed route will also pass close to the busy Greenbank Industrial Estate. While businesses in the estate may not be impacted by the road as a flyover is anticipated to be built over it, there are fears about the impact the ongoing work will have on the area.

Jim O'Keefe, managing director of Corn Dolly Foods, said he wanted to be "consulted" on the scheme.

"We know nothing about it at all," he said.

"We didn't even know there was due to be an announcement about it the other day. Greenbank Industrial Estate is hard enough to get in and out of at the best of times, there is only one road in and one road out.

"I would imagine the traffic disruption will get even worse if this work begins, so I feel it is important that local businesses are consulted to see what impact the new road may have on us."

Roads enthusiast Wesley Johnston said the proposed route will be a massive project for road planners.

"In terms of the road, it's one of the most challenging ever conceived here - combining steep gradients, a former quarry, bridging a navigable river, proximity to an area of special scientific interest and limited space," he said.

"DfI think it can be done, and this route is both the cheapest option considered, and the one that offers the most benefits. It's close enough to the city to double as a partial southern 'ring road' for the town."

However, the preferred route has been welcomed as a "key step forward for the major infrastructure project".

Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard said it would "provide a road link from the A2 Warrenpoint Carriageway to the A1/NI Dublin Belfast corridor - a route that is increasingly seen as one of the most strategic transport links in Ireland".

"This is great news for local commuters and the wider Newry and south Down business community who have been campaigning for an end to the congestion in Newry city," he said.

"Not only will the delivery of this key infrastructure project improve journey times and accessibility to both Newry City and Warrenpoint Port, but it will also significantly improve road safety and traffic congestion within the local area."

Clare Guinness, CEO of Warrenpoint Port said it was "vital this project moves promptly onto stage three and delivery".

"This crucial piece of infrastructure has the potential to significantly improve the economic prosperity of the region by improving access to the Port thereby supporting trade growth," she said.

"It will also open up the eastern side of Newry for potential commercial development."