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Post Date : Mon 11 Dec 2017 01:56 PM
Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade last night hosted more than 650 patrons at the 18th Annual Christmas Charity Dinner in the Canal Court Hotel in Newry on Thursday 7th December. After breaking the £1 million fundraising target for local charities three years ago, people were equally generous this year with more than £82,250 raised for local causes on the night. This brings the total raised during the past 18 years to just over £1.3 million. £1,312,624 (£1,230,374 total in 2016)
The annual total is a combination of money raised through the Santa Fun Run; the sum of the value of the toys brought by guests for the huge toy mountain which will be distributed to local families through St Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army this Christmas; ticket sales for the dinner, donations, a golden ticket raffle and a raffle on the night.
Amongst the special guests were Dublin Senior Men’s Senior Football Manager Jim Gavin, Singing Sensation Brian Kennedy, TV and radio personality Gerry Kelly, politicians, clergy and dignitaries from across the island. The guests of honour were four very special local school children and their families who were nominated by their schools to receive dream holidays. Sean Boland, Shea O’Hare, Thomas Smith Harrison and Zack Gordon were presented with travel vouchers for a family holiday of their choice by committee members.
Paul Convery, President of Newry Chamber of Commerce and Trade said, 'Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade is very proud of the generosity of its members. For the past 18 years businesses and individuals from across the greater Newry area have embraced the Charity Christmas Dinner to help families have a better Christmas and to support charities/organisations doing tremendous work in our communities.' 
Paul also thanked the Chamber Team headed by CEO, Mary Meehan for leading the organisation of the event this year as well as the Christmas Charity Committee chaired by Mark Crimmins and including Jerome Mullan, Gemma Murphy, Mary Meehan, Jessica Kane, Natasha Daryaie, Rebecca Byrne, Declan McChesney, Dr. Gerard O’Hare, Michael McKeown, Caroline Courtney, Nicole Curran, David Magill, Anne Murphy & Brigid Farrell.
All of the proceeds from the event were presented on the night to the beneficiary charities. The Southern Area Hospice Services were the sole beneficiaries from the Santa Fun Run and a host of other charities/organisations benefited from the dinner which included Daisy Hill Children’s Ward, Newry & District Gateway Club, Home-Start Newry & Mourne, St Vincent de Paul, the Salvation Army, Rathore School, Brain Injury Support, Head Injury Support and Air Ambulance NI
Newry Business Community in Charity Spirit

President of Newry Chamber of Commerce & Trade Paul Convery is pictured with the organising committee of the Newry Chamber Charity Christmas Dinner at the ‘Toy Mountain’ in the Canal Court Hotel during the Annual Dinner. The toys were generously donated by more than 650 patrons who attended the dinner and will be distributed to families in the Greater Newry Area by St Vincent de Paul and the Salvation Army. The dinner in its 18th year raised £82,250 for local causes this year and brings the total raised by the annual dinner to just over £1.3 million. 

Post Date : Mon 11 Dec 2017 09:32 AM

The Constituency Office of Megan Fearon MLA was officially opened in Crossmaglen last weekend by Sinn Féin TD and Party Vice President Mary Lou Mc Donald.

The event was attended by the Sinn Féin MLA's colleagues Newry & Armagh MP Mickey Brady, Cathal Boylan MLA, Conor Murphy MLA and Councillors from Newry, Mourne & Down, Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon, Monaghan, Louth and Drogheda Councils. There were also representatives from the local Morris/Harvey Sinn Féin Cumann and other party activists throughout the Newry, Armagh, Louth and Monaghan areas as well as representatives of local community groups.
Speaking at the opening Mary Lou Mc Donald told those present that she hoped "that all of the people of the Newry & Armagh constituency will continue to avail of the services provided by our team. Our doors are open to all and we will do our utmost to continue to represent the people".
The Sinn Féin Party Vice President continued “This Office in Crossmaglen has been and will continue to deal with any issues regarding welfare rights, planning, housing and any other issues which may affect the lives of the people in this constituency. 
Megan Fearon as a south Armagh MLA and our Sinn Fein Team in Newry & Armagh are committed to striving to improve the quality of life for all of our constituents and this office will be a contact point for the community to make us aware of how we can best do that for them.”
Speaking of her delight at the official opening of her Office in Crossmaglen, local MLA Megan Fearon said 
“As a party we endeavour to offer a first-class constituency service, and along with our offices in Newry and Armagh cities this office improves that valuable service further. My Office and all our Sinn Féin representatives whether elected or activists are committed to working for all and our resources are available to all".
Photo: Megan Fearon MLA & Mary Lou McDonald TD 
Photo: Megan Fearon MLA & Mary Lou McDonald TD  and Sinn Féin colleagues pictured outside the new Sinn Féin constituency Office in Crossmaglen 
Post Date : Mon 11 Dec 2017 09:26 AM

Craobh Rua Camlocha Hurling Club held their Annual General Meeting last week. The well attended meeting was given a comprehensive account of the Club's activities for the past year by outgoing secretary Labhras Bradley who expressed his gratitude to Club members, players, supporters and benefactors for their ongoing support in helping Camlocha Craobh Rua continue to develop as a community focused hurling and cultural club.

Raymond Watters who was re-elected as Club Chairperson for the incoming year also expressed his sincere thanks to his Committee for the previous year and he urged all to continue to work together to build on the clubs successes both on and off the field. 
Craobh Rua Camlocha Hurling Club would like to wish all players, members, supporters and sponsors a Nollaig shona dhaoibh.
The Craobh Rua Camlocha Officer Board for the incoming year is:
Cathaoirleach /  Chairman : Raymond Watters
Leas -  Chathaoirleach /  Vice-Chairman : Labhrás Bradley
Cisteóir / Treasurer : Peter O’Hanlon
Leas – Chisteóir / Asst Treasurer : Cathal Mc Ginn
Rúnaí /  Secretary : Henry Mc Cloy
Leas -  Rúnaí : David O’Brien
Cláraitheóir /  Registrar : Paul Cunningham 
Oifigeach Cóchála /  Coaching  Officer : Fiachra Bradley 
OCP /  P.R.O. : Pat Mc Ginn
Oifigeach na Gaeilge / Irish Language Officer : Labhrás Bradley
Oifigeach Sláinte / Healthy Club Officer: Sonya Quinn
Leas- Oifigeach Sláinte : Asst Healthy Club Officer: Patricia Nutley
Committee Member: Damien Britten 
Committee Member: Paul Elshaw
Toscaire Contae / County Delegates:  Raymond Watters/ Henry Mc Cloy 
Post Date : Mon 11 Dec 2017 09:18 AM

Local fundraising group ‘Run for Raff’ is celebrating its 4th annual run on Wednesday 27th December 2017 in aid of local lad Adrian Rafferty from Lissummon, who lost his battle to leukaemia in 2014.

To date ‘Run for Raff’ has raised over £48,000 for a range of charities thanks to the support of family, friends, neighbours, local businesses, communities and the public across the Newry, Mourne and Downe and Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council districts.
Getting set and ready to go for this year’s big event, Claudine Rafferty, Chair of the fundraising group said: “I am calling out to all runners and walkers to come along and join us by running or walking, have a great time and most importantly help contribute to very worthy causes.  
“This year’s event includes a 10k and 5k run as well as a lovely 3-mile family walk.  All abilities are catered for and it will be great to get outdoors again after all the Christmas festivities to get some exercise, fresh air and enjoy a bit of banter.  We also have a bbq and music planned for afterwards.”
Claudine added: “This year's chosen charities which are set to benefit from all the proceeds we raise are Leukaemia Lymphoma NI, Run for Autism and the Southern Area Hospice.
Leukaemia & Lymphoma NI - funds research into the causes and cures of leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma in Northern Ireland. Run for Autism HAND - supports those living with autism and their families across the Southern area and the Southern Area Hospice provides invaluable support and care to people living within the Southern area, who are suffering from Cancer, Multiple Sclerosis, Motor Neurone Disease and AIDS. 
Registration takes place on the day (27 December) at the Railway Bar, Poyntzpass from 10:45 am and it will cost £10 per person. The Family walk will cost £15 per family.
Claudine concluded: “If you cannot come along on the day, then please use our Just Giving page ( to make a donation, no matter how small, to help support these local charities and make a difference!”
Delighted to be one of the beneficiary’s this year, Sean Quinn, Chair of Run for Autism HAND charity added: “We are so privileged to be one of the chosen charities of Run for Raff 2017.  Adrian was no stranger to HAND, in fact he was very much part of our team from day one up until his illness. It's very much the mark of the man that he did a lot for charity in his life and his legacy lives on. We're really looking forward to the 27th of December and hope people come along not only to support all the charities but in celebration of Adrian's life.”
Encouraging everyone to get behind year’s Run for Raff event are Rory Gaffney, Donal McCoy and Sean Quinn, Chair of Run for Autism.
Post Date : Mon 11 Dec 2017 09:12 AM
There were fifty-one incidents pertaining to badgers reported to the PSNI in 2015, according to a report which highlights the disturbance and destruction of badgers and their setts in Northern Ireland. 
The report has been published by the “Partnership for Action against Wildlife Crime - Northern Ireland” (PAW), and has found that of these forty-one were categorised as incidents which may have constituted wildlife crime, including incidents of sett disturbance; suspected badger baiting; misuse of traps and snares.
Wildlife crime incidents against badgers in 2015 had a wide geographic distribution throughout Northern Ireland.  However, most reports were made within County Down and within the north of that county particularly.  
It is widely believed that badger-related wildlife crime is under-reported in Northern Ireland.  More hot-spot areas may come to light as awareness of badger-related crime increases and as the public increases in confidence in discerning what constitutes a badger crime that can be reported.
Should members of the public suspect that a Wildlife Crime has been committed, they are advised to pass information immediately on to the PSNI by dialling 101; describing the call as a Wildlife Crime report; giving details of the (potential) crime; and asking for an incident reference number.  Alternatively, information can be left anonymously with Crimestoppers at 0800 555 111. 
Supt. Brian Kee, PSNI service lead for rural and wildlife crime said, “Police always take reports of badger persecution very seriously, and would be keen for any members of the public aware of possible offences to report to the PSNI on the 101 number. The badger is a legally protected animal and it is an offence to kill, injure/take a badger, possess or control a live or dead badger. It is an offence to damage, destroy or obstruct access to a sett. 
“Whether these actions are intentional or reckless it remains an offence, and one which the PSNI will investigate and gather evidence with a view to prosecution. The addition of ‘reckless acts’ in the legislation does away with the defence that it was thought there was a non-protected species in the sett, for example a fox. Ignorance is no excuse!
“I congratulate all PAW partners in working together to create this report which allows the partners and PSNI to strategically place resources into the areas of concern” 
Peter Clarke from the Northern Ireland Badger Group said “We are delighted to be part of this innovative strategic approach to tackle badger crime in Northern Ireland. The new Badger Persecution report is a great starting point in highlighting the crime hotspots and awareness campaigns will be designed specifically to target these areas.  It is vitally important that the whole Northern Ireland community assists the Police Service of Northern Ireland by reporting these often horrific wildlife crimes in a timely and accurate way so that the criminals involved can be apprehended and prosecuted.” 
He added “Partnership working is the key to stopping Badger persecution with all relevant agencies, charities, and voluntary groups like ourselves having vital roles to play in not only raising awareness about Badger persecution but also by giving proactive practical support to the PSNI.” 
Brendan Mullan, Chief Executive of the USPCA commented; “The USPCA welcomes this report as a real opportunity to focus resources to catch the criminals engaged in this brutal activity. There are no winners in this – the dogs lose, and the badgers lose – both suffering horrific injuries or death. These people go out with long-handled spades and dogs and travel the country in vans. They are not invisible. We urge the public to be vigilant and report all suspicious activity.”

The full report is available to read or download at  

Post Date : Fri 08 Dec 2017 09:59 AM
Sinn Féin MLAs John O’Dowd and Megan Fearon hosted a seminar on the impact of Brexit on human and equality rights in the Long Gallery, Stormont today.
Speaking after the event the party’s spokesperson on equality Megan Fearon said: 
"The Tory/DUP Brexit agenda will impact on all aspects of life in Ireland, but particularly on our human and equality rights here in the north. 
"It is an extension of the Tory attack on human rights but it will go further as it will also remove the rights’ protections we have secured as a result of our EU membership. 
"As today's Lucid talk opinion poll shows, 52 percent of respondents believe their rights will be reduced as a result of Brexit.
"For us we are very clear, the Good Friday Agreement in all of its parts which includes the rights of citizens in the north must be protected in order for the Brexit negotiations to move forward.
"The Taoiseach needs to stand firm on that over the next few days, as a co-guarantor of that agreement.
"We have clearly said that Designated Special status is what is required for us to remain in the EU and she has put that front and centre in the minds of leaders right across Europe.
"The issue is fundamentally one of rights and protection.
"We voted to remain.
"An opinion poll out today from Lucid Talk shows 76 percent support maintain EU standards and rights post Brexit.
"We are concerned that a range of rights will be impacted by Brexit in many areas of people’s lives.
"This a time to stand together, united on the common goals of Equality and Human rights.

"It is time to speak up and speak loud. And not to let anyone or any party disempower any of us on this island."  

Post Date : Fri 08 Dec 2017 09:42 AM
Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Boylan has welcomed a resolution from the UN that the world needs to completely stop plastic waste from entering the oceans.
The party’s spokesperson on climate change said:
“Marine litter is a growing concern and is one of the fastest-growing environmental problems.
“Under the UN proposal, governments would establish an international task force to advise on combating what the UN's oceans chief has described as a planetary crisis.

“We all have a responsibility to deal with this issue. The UN can't do it alone we need to work together at government level, with businesses and even individuals.” 

Post Date : Fri 08 Dec 2017 09:38 AM
Speaking after news that the Australian Parliament passed a Bill introducing marriage equality Sinn Féin equality spokesperson Megan Fearon said:
"News that the Australian parliament has passed a Bill that will allow two people regardless of their gender to marry is a welcome step.
"This comes after almost 79.5 percent supported a non-binding postal ballot in Australia to endorse a law. 
"Australia is now the 25th country in the world to have marriage equality. 

"It is Sinn Féin's belief that marriage equality should be extended to the north so that citizens here can be treated equally, with the same dignity and respect as citizens across the rest of these islands." 

Post Date : Tue 05 Dec 2017 10:09 AM

Down County Board Updates

The next County Board meeting will take place on Monday 11th December in The Thierafurth Inn, Kilcoo. We still have a number of vacant positions and we welcome any new members who would be interested in joining our committee for 2018. 

U18/Minors - BORN 2000/2001 ONLY

Minor Trials have started for girls born in 2000/2001. The trials started yesterday in St. Colman’s Newry and will continue this Sunday on 10th December and Sunday 17th December from 12:30 pm - 2 pm. Please try to be there from 12 noon.  Can all clubs please spread the word and encourage all players to participate.  

Down U16 – BORN 2002 ONLY

Great turnout of girls attended week 3 of trials with Declan Grant from Ballymartin who came to help out yesterday. Many thanks to Declan. Last week of trials for all girls is next Sunday 10th December 11:30 am - 1 pm in Ballykinler GAC. The standard of Gaelic on display each week is of a very high standard which is a fantastic reflection of the talent and skill across the county.  

Down U15 – BORN 2003 ONLY

Massive thank you to all the girls who came and participated in the trials over the past month, the talent on display has been very encouraging. We are delighted to invite the following girls to attend a final trial at St. Colman’s, Newry this Saturday, 9th December. Girls are asked to arrive 1:15 pm so training can begin at 1:30 pm and will end at 3:00 pm.

Aimee Higgins


Linden Haughain


Aimee McClelland


Mia Murtagh


Sian Curran


Orla Carville


Fiona Dolan


Caoimhe Duffy


Niamh Edgar


Rebecca Doherty


Siobhan Thompson


Eve Kineally


Katie White


Ellie Murdock


Eva Sloan


Katie Foster


Cara Morris


Meabh Toal


Hannah McCabe


Kathryn Harty


Niamh Blaney


Cara McKee


Aoife McCusker


Orlaith McCusker


Siofra McAteer


Sara Daly


Jodie Cunningham


Chloe Trainor


Maria Merendino

Newry Bosco

Emer Doyle

Newry Bosco

Sinead Quinn

Newry Bosco

Erin Sands


Eve Mullan


Aoife Brady

Shane O'Neill’s





























Girls that have not progressed please continue to train hard with your clubs, keep improving your skills and we hope you will return to the academy and trials next year. If anyone has any queries or is unable to attend training, please contact Aidy or Donnla.

Down U14 - BORN 2004 ONLY

The U14 squad training continued at the weekend for the panel of 34 girls. The girls are working very hard, two more sessions are planned before Christmas.  

Down U13 - BORN 2005 ONLY

Another great turnout for the 2nd group of girls attending year 2005 trials on Saturday morning at Red High Downpatrick. The girls from the two trials have definitely made it tough for the coaches so far and with both set of girls coming together for the final trial this Saturday the coaches have their work cut out to select a final squad of girls to represent Down at this level. Best of luck for all girls this Saturday. Details of times for final trial to follow.

Post Date : Mon 04 Dec 2017 10:38 AM

Police are appealing for witnesses following a serious road traffic collision on Camlough Road in Bessbrook on Friday evening, 01 December. 

The collision, involving a car and a pedestrian occurred at approximately 4:25 pm close to the junction with High Street. The male pedestrian was taken to hospital for treatment for his injuries.
Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward and we would particularly like to speak to those people who stopped and assisted until the arrival of the emergency services. If you were one of those persons please make contact with Police on 101 quoting reference 970 1/12/17