Post Date : Mon 07 Aug 2017 11:28 AM
Slieve Gullion Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Larkin has met with Transport NI in Dromintee and Jonesborough to express concerns about road conditions in the local community.
Following the meeting, Larkin said the meeting was a constructive opportunity with authorities to highlight the dire state of rural infrastructure:
"I was able at short notice to arrange a site meeting with a Transport NI engineer in order to highlight a number of serious issues including potholes and verge cutting in the Dromintee and Jonesborough area. 
“Several narrow roads in the area have still not had their verges cut back, creating dangers for both motorists and pedestrians. Briars are meeting in the middle of some roads and sight lines have virtually disappeared. 
“There are numerous potholes growing in size, some of which I reported months ago. The approaches to many of our villages are rapidly deteriorating, and to residents and tourists have the appearance of abandonment.”
“Both I and Megan Fearon MLA have successfully lobbied authorities over the last three years to have a number of roads resurfaced, but much more investment is required to bring rural areas like these to a standard in keeping with our towns."
Cllr Larkin said it was clear that despite his on-going lobbying and engagement, continuous and damaging budget cuts to vital services was having a real impact on the local community:
“The engineer, although sympathetic, explained the problems faced by himself and the Department. One shocking revelation was the fact that potholes must be 4 inches deep before they are scheduled for repair.
“This is totally unacceptable. While I understand our public services are under assault from years of Tory austerity, much more must be done with existing resources to ensure rural communities are not deserted in this fashion.

“I will be in contact with the Sector Management Team this week to impress upon them the urgency of the situation and to insist that solutions are found to reassure the residents of Dromintee and Jonesborough that their safety and wellbeing are the top priority for the Department." 

Post Date : Tue 01 Aug 2017 08:33 AM

Our under 14 boys footballers take pride of place this week in the club. Before Monday night's game they sat joint top of the table with St Paul's. With this the last league game and it against St Paul's this was sure to be an entertaining affair, especially as our boys had been unbeaten at home all season. 

A large crowd gathered at the Bann Road complex to cheer on both teams, the numbers would not be out of place at some division 1 senior fixtures never mind that of an U14 fixture. 
The town showed signs of their unbeaten home record and ran into a healthy lead early in the first half, however towards the half time mark St Paul's pulled it back to just 3 points going into the break. 
It was 10 minutes into the second half when Castlewellan started to push on. Hitting 4 goals on the trot midway into the second half gave the town boys the edge, this continued for the rest of the match. It was hard to pick one player who stood out and this shows the strength in the team. 
Credit goes to Francie, Ciaran, Robbie and all the players for their efforts so far this year, and hopefully they can push on going into the Championship. 
Finally, thanks to all the parents and supporters who turned up on Monday night to cheer the boys on. 
Final score Castlewellan 10-14 St Paul's 4-6. 
Coaching in St Malachys Park continues on Saturday morning Nursery, P1 & P2 boys and girls 10-11am. P3-P6 girls football and camogie from 10-11.30am. P3/P4 Hurling 10-10.45 P3/P4 boys football 10.45 -11.30. P5/P6 boys back to normal Monday and Wednesday next week. Enjoy! Please note all grades are last year’s classes.
Well done to our Under 12 girl footballers who played their last league last week winning 8.8 to 2 points away to Kilcoo. Brilliant result girls. 
Reminder that this Saturday night is the final night of our annual draw. With £5000 first prize in offer wouldn't it be great to be there when your name is called. Music on the night by Stephen Rafferty and a bbq will be served. 
Commiserations to the Down Senior football team who lost out to Monaghan at Croke park on Saturday. Both Sean and Mickey had great games, and to Rory and Colly who were on the squad. More of the same next year lads.
Image: U14  footballers receiving the East Down U14 b shield from chairman Sean McCashen.
Post Date : Mon 31 Jul 2017 08:38 AM

Detectives are appealing for information following the report of an aggravated burglary at a house in the Maryvale Road area of Newry on Saturday 28th July. 

Detective Sergeant Trish Bardon said: “It was reported that two male youths, one armed with a knife, entered the house at around 8 pm on Saturday evening, through the back door. They demanded money from the female occupant before ransacking the house. They then left the house leaving the woman uninjured but badly shaken. Both youths were described as being around 17 years old and spoke with a local Newry accent. One was described as being around 5’5” tall, of medium build and wore a dark grey hooded top and black track bottoms. The second was over 6’ tall, of thin build and also wore a grey hooded top with black track bottoms.”
“I would ask anyone who noticed persons matching these descriptions or observed a white coloured van in the area or anyone with any information which could assist with our enquiries to contact detectives at Ardmore station on 101 quoting reference number 1191 29/07/17. Information can also be given anonymously through the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”
Post Date : Mon 31 Jul 2017 08:34 AM

Sinn Féin Councillor and Newry, Mourne & Down Council Chairperson, Roisin Mulgrew, has congratulated the organisers and participants of the Border Route Run as the finished their run along the entirety of the Irish border in Warrenpoint on Friday afternoon.

Aleks Stanek, among others, have run the length of the Irish border to raise awareness about the uncertainty the lives of EU nationals have been placed in as a result of Brexit. 
Mulgrew commended this profile-raising effort in the midst of the uncertainty of Brexit, and encouraged other citizens in Newry, Mourne and Down to do likewise:
“The north decisively voted against Brexit, with 56% of the population in opposition", she said.
“Now, as a result of Tory government refusing to listen to the concerns of citizens here we will be dragged out of the EU against our will.
“This incredible physical and civic feat achieved by the participants of the Border Route Run help shine a light on the uncertainly thrust upon EU nationals in our community as a result of Brexit.
“In the time ahead our community must do much more to focus the attention of the world on the status of citizens here post-Brexit.
“Not everyone can run hundreds of miles, but everyone can do something. This is a great example set by the organisers and our community should show its gratitude to the Border Route Runners.”
Post Date : Mon 31 Jul 2017 08:30 AM

The All-Ireland Poc Fada finals in hurling and camogie will be held on the Cooley Mountains on Saturday August 5th. The competition was first held in 1960 and following a short hiatus from 1970-1980, it returned in 1981 and has been ever-present on the National calendar since. 

The unique GAA contest promises to be a great day of sport. Defending senior hurling champion James McInerney (An Clár) puts his crown on the line against a high calibre field that includes All-Star winning goalkeepers Brendan Cummins (Tipperary) and Eoin Murphy (Kilkenny).
Aoife Murray (Corcaigh) also returns to defend the Senior titles she captured 12 months ago. Cathal Kiely (Uíbh Fhailí) does likewise in the Under 16 hurling competition and he will be hoping to follow in the footsteps of his older brother and current Offaly senior player, Cillian by annexing the title for a second year-in-a-row. The 2015 and 2016 Under 16 camogie winner, Sarah Healy (Gaillimh) returns to the mountain but she is taking part in the Senior competition for the first time.
Across all competitions hurlers and camógs from Clare, Louth, Antrim, Derry, Laois, Dublin, Galway, Limerick, Tipperary, Kilkenny, Down, Roscommon, Offaly, Cork and Meath will have the opportunity to compete for an All-Ireland title.
M. Donnelly GAA All-Ireland Final Proceedings will get under way at 11.00am on Annaverna Mountain, Ravensdale, Co. Louth on Saturday, August 5th.
Speaking at the recent launch event the GAA Leas-Uachtarán, Jim Bolger said: “There are few events in our diary that stand out from the rest of our activities in the same way as the Poc Fada. 
“The Poc Fada is a truly unique event held at the picturesque setting of the Annaverna Mountain. It is a real test of skill and stamina. The contestants value the competition highly and given that they participate at a very busy time of the season, both at Inter-County and club level, shows the importance they place on their involvement. I would also like to thank Martin Donnelly for his continued support of the competition, in what will be the 21st year sponsoring the Finals in the Cooley Mountains.” 
Also speaking at the launch Ard Stiúrthóir Cumann Camógaíochta, Joan O'Flynn said: “I am looking forward once more to this year’s prestigious Poc Fada Finals, which promise to be an exciting event in the spectacular Cooley Peninsula at the foot of the Annaverna Mountain. I am very pleased that Camogie players are, once again, part of this outstanding competition. I am really looking forward to a tremendous contest over the very challenging course. Thanks to Martin Donnelly, whose commitment to the Poc Fada goes beyond that of a standard sponsorship.”
Martin Donnelly said: “I’m particularly proud to continue my association with the Poc Fada, supporting this wonderful and exciting competition as this is my 21st year sponsoring the Finals in the Cooley Mountain. This year’s finals promise to be “as good as ever” with James McInerney and Aoife Murray returning to defend their titles against very stiff opposition.”
Humphrey Kelleher, Chairman of the National Poc Fada Committee stated: “An Poc Fada is one of our finest traditions and we in the GAA, whether it be at Club, County, Provincial or National level have a responsibility to cherish and develop it to the best of our ability. I am particularly delighted that most counties and provinces have held their competition on “mountain courses” this year. That gives the final contestants a real flavour for what they will face on the mountain.”
Senior Hurling
1. James McInerney (Clare)
2. Gerard Smith (Louth)
3. Donal McKernan (Antrim)
4. Ruairi Convery (Derry)
5. Eoin Reilly (Laois) 
6. Fintan O’Brien (Dublin) 
7. Mark Fahy (Galway)
8. Tadhg Haran (Galway)
9. Brian O’Loughlin (Clare) 
10. John Chawke (Limerick)
11. Brendan Cummins (Tipperary)
12. Eoin Murphy (Kilkenny)
U-16 Hurling
1. Ciaran Watson (Down)
2. Adam Donnelly (Roscommon)
3. Cathal Kiely (Offaly)
4. Ryan Renehan (Tipperary)
Senior Camogie
1. Aoife Murray (Cork) 
2. All-Star Pick to be confirmed 
3. Orlagh O’Hara (Antrim)
4. Faye McCarthy (Dublin)
5. Sarah Healy (Galway) 
6. Áine O’Loughlin (Clare)
U-16 Camogie
1. Roisin McCormick (Antrim)
2. Abbye Donnnelly (Meath)
3. Maeve Muldoon (Galway) 
4. Molly Lynch (Cork)
Post Date : Fri 28 Jul 2017 12:13 PM

Slieve Gullion Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Larkin has condemned the illegal dumping of three diesel cubes near Silverbridge on Friday.

In recent months there have been repeated incidents of illegal dumping in the area, pointing to ongoing criminal activity resulting in potential environmental damage.
Councillor Larkin insisted that the criminals behind this dumping activity must desist immediately, and urged the community to remain vigilant:
"Yet again we have ratepayers in this district paying to clear the toxic waste which is dumped at our roadside by diesel launderers.
“The latest incident occurred on the New Line at Silverbridge. 
Three pods of diesel waste were left beside a N.I. Water facility.
“This criminal behaviour is a blight on our landscape, our environment, but most importantly, our community.
“The people behind these crimes have no respect for citizens in the area who are forced to pay for their actions, which this time threatened to contaminate local water supplies.
“I urge the statutory authorities and the local community to redouble their efforts to put this activity to an end once and for all.
“It’s dangerous, it’s criminal, and it must stop immediately.”
Post Date : Fri 28 Jul 2017 08:18 AM

Sinn Féin Councillor Charlie Casey teamed up with the Newry Felons and Barcroft Community Association for a litter-pick and clean-up of the Barcroft area on Wednesday afternoon.

Around 20 people turned out, including Felon's members, those in the Community Association and residents, and lifted litter with equipment provided by Newry, Mourne and Down Council. Heavier items were arranged to be lifted on Thursday.
Speaking after the community initiative, Casey, a member of Newry Felons, commended the efforts of people and the civic groups involved in coming together to look after a highly residential area in Newry town:
"Projects such as these have great value for all involved, and for the area as a whole.
"It demonstrates a vibrant community spirit that is alive and well in this part of the town, but also brings a social good that inspires people to foster a culture of activism and community awareness.
"No doubt the groups involved will be out again soon taking care of the Barcroft area, and keeping the streets clean and tidy for residents. 
"I would encourage everyone to take on this initiative in their homes. Our town can only benefit from seeing this rolled out across the community."
Post Date : Fri 28 Jul 2017 08:16 AM
Sinn Féin Environment Spokesperson, Cathal Boylan MLA, is urging landowners to apply for grants under the Forest Expansion Scheme, currently open in support of management and expansion of existing woodlands.
The opening of the third phase of the scheme, which is and part financed by the Rural Development Programme and DAERA, is intended to encourage and support farmers and landowners who wish to plant or expand their own woodland of 5 hectares or more.
Mr Boylan said:
“The Forest Expansion Scheme, The Forest Protection Scheme and Woodland Investment Grant are a welcome opportunity for protection and enhancement of our environment and woodlands.
“These schemes will greatly improve the management of existing woodland, building more vibrant and resilient ecosystems in our forests, and in our rural communities.
“At a time when we must all respond to the global challenge of climate change, moves like these empower local landowners to protect wildlife, their habitats, and the entirety of our natural environment.
“I would urge anyone who is eligible to apply for a grant to do so without delay. Application forms as well as further information can be attained online through the DAERA website at
“Alternatively, Forestry Service can be contacted on 028 6634 3019 or via email at”
The Newry Armagh representative added:
“Grants are available for land owners including estate owners, charitable organisations, local councils and farmers. 
 “Applicants should be aware that land on which Single Farm Payment was paid in the 2008 scheme year or subsequently and was converted to forestry under an EU scheme remains eligible for Single Farm Payment for the duration of the Forestry Grant Scheme."

Applications for the Forest Expansion Scheme must be submitted to Forest Service by Friday 29 September 2017 for the 2017/18 planting season. 

Post Date : Wed 26 Jul 2017 08:39 AM

Police in Newry are appealing for witnesses to a serious road traffic collision on the A1 carriageway on Tuesday 18th July to come forward.

Inspector Denise Graham said: “Shortly after 12.30pm on the afternoon of Tuesday 18th July, police received a report of a single vehicle collision on the A1 carriageway, just outside Newry, near the Sheepbridge complex. A blue Toyota Rav 4 car, which had been travelling northbound, crashed through the central reservation, ending in the southbound carriageway. The driver, a man aged 50, was taken to hospital, where he remains in a critical condition. The A1 was closed in both directions for a number of hours following the collision.”
“I am appealing today for anyone with any information or who witnessed the collision or has dashcam or mobile phone footage from the scene to contact police at Ardmore on 101 quoting reference number 512 18/07/17.”
Post Date : Wed 26 Jul 2017 08:37 AM

Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy has said the future of green energy research in the north could be jeopardised by Brexit. 

Murphy outlined the loss to critical research for the environment, and opportunities for economic growth in renewable energies, as a result of Brexit: 
"The fact that Queen's University, Belfast has been awarded an £8 million Interreg funding package for research into renewable energy shows the opportunities that exist as a result of our EU membership. 
"This funding will help benefit the all-Ireland green energy sector and has the potential to significantly enhance our knowledge in environmental research." 
Speaking of the reduced opportunities local young people now face, Murphy said:
“Brexit clearly threatens to derail the educational and professional opportunities for thousands of young people in Newry & Armagh, many of whom will be heading to Belfast to study in September.
"This is the type of funding we stand to lose as a result of the Tory Brexit agenda.
"Not only will this loss of funding impact on research but it will also limit the opportunities of students as it could lead to less PhD places and post-doctoral research places. 
"It shows that not only is Brexit bad for our economy but also the majestic local environment in the Slieve Gullion area.
"In order to protect EU Interreg research funding in the future we need to secure designated special status for the north within the EU."