Post Date : Mon 04 Dec 2017 10:27 AM
Underage Presentation
On Sunday afternoon our U12 girls and U10 team held a joint underage presentation. During the first part of the afternoon the boys and girls enjoyed brilliant session of Footgolf with them all having a great time. Everyone then returned to club for some food provided by local café Fiships before the girls were presented with their championship winning medals by two-time All-Star winner Aimee Mackin. Armagh county star Greg McCabe was on hand to present the medals to our U10s in recognition on their shield wins at the Killeavy and Shane O’Neill’s blitzes. The club would like to congratulate all the boys and girls for their efforts throughout the year and to thank all their managers and mentors for their hard work and commitment during 2017.
Senior Ladies Trip to China
Our senior ladies are finalising plans for their upcoming trip to China. This unique and historic occasion will be the first time any GAA club has been invited to visit China. The travelling party of 30 will leave on Friday 29th of December, flying from Dublin to Paris for a short stop before their onward journey to Beijing. The first five days will be spent in the Chinese capital with a reception at the Irish Embassy included in the itinerary. The group will then continue through visits to three universities, engaging in workshops on Chinese culture, language and contemporary society. The due return date is for Thursday 11th of January. With the visa application process now complete, there are a lot of practical details to consider over the coming weeks. Preparation plans continue with a meeting on Tuesday at 7:00 pm in the club. There will be an official launch night arranged shortly hosted by Mayor Roisin Mulgrew... more details to follow soon.
The clubs Annual General Meeting will take place in the clubhouse next Sunday 10th December at 3:00 pm. This is undoubtedly the most important meeting of the year and we are asking all current and past members, players (past and present), parents of our underage footballers and anyone else with a genuine interest in the club to come along. 2018 promises to be any busy year for the club and we are encouraging everyone to get on board to help make it a successful one.
U10 Gaelic football indoor training continues on Wednesday in Cloughreagh Community Centre from 8:15 pm - 9:15 pm. New children are very welcome to come along and join in regardless if they have never played Gaelic football. Beginner skills programme will be provided for new players.
Training for all our U6s continues every Tuesday evening in Bessbrook Community Centre from 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm. Everyone please remember to bring water and £1. All new and current U6s are welcome to come along, starting from 3 years old.
Underage Meeting
A meeting for ALL our underage managers and mentors for both boys and girls football has been organised for next Monday night, 4th December at 7:30 pm.
Christmas Coffee Morning
The club is hosting a Christmas coffee morning next Sunday 10th December from 11:00 am - 1:00 pm. Why not come along and enjoy the Christmas festivities with some tasty winter treats - tea, coffee, hot chocolate, mince pies, Christmas treats, cakes and buns - while the children visit Santa.
Quiz Night
A quiz night in aid of St Paul's International projects to Romania is taking place in the club this Friday night, 8th December at 9:00 pm. Everyone is welcome to come along to what should be a great night’s craic! £5.00 entry fee with a raffle on the night.
Paddy Lynch Memorial Darts Tournament
Last Sunday the club hosted and sponsored the annual Paddy Lynch Memorial darts tournament which saw a total of 36 throwers taking part. Following an afternoon of some great darts Stephen O’Hara emerged as the deserving winner. The event raised a total of £340 for Children with Diabetes, the chosen charity of the local darts league. The club would like to thank all those who helped to organise the event and to Mark Trainor for his generous donation towards the charity.
Last week’s winning lotto numbers were 1, 27, 30 & 31. There were no jackpot winners and 1 x match three winner. The jackpot now stands at a very impressive £7,100 so why not get yourself a ticket…. if you’re not in, you can’t win.
Watch Out for Your Neighbours
With recent spate of burglaries in the area we asking to be vigilant and if you notice anything suspicious – strange cars or people – report it to the police.
Attached pictures are:
Shane O’Neill’s U12 girls at their underage presentation on Sunday afternoon

Shane O’Neill’s U10 team at their underage presentation on Sunday afternoon  

Post Date : Mon 04 Dec 2017 10:05 AM
Chairperson of Newry, Mourne & Down Council, Cllr Roisin Mulgrew has described the sawing down of the Christmas Tree in the village of Bessbrook as a "wanton act of destruction"
The local Councillor was speaking after it was decided to remove the damaged tree from the centre of the village due to safety concerns.
Cllr Mulgrew explained 
"The village Christmas Tree had all its lights broken and has been sawed practically the full way through. This is not the first time this has happened, as over the past years the tree has been the focus of deliberate attacks. The Council has had to remove the vandalised tree due to safety concerns. There is a strong possibility that it might not be replaced as many local people feel that those engaged in this wanton act of destruction, will attack it again"
The Sinn Féin elected representative continued,
"I share the anger and frustration of all right-minded people at this deliberate attack on a community trying to bring a festive flavour to their village. There is nothing funny about this criminal act of damage and hopefully those who carried it out will be identified and face the full rigorous of the law".
The local Councillor concluded

"I have asked Council Officers to take soundings from the local community on their views about replacing the Christmas Tree, as to how secure they feel it will be or whether it is a futile exercise". 

Post Date : Mon 04 Dec 2017 10:01 AM
Newry & Armagh Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy has said that the long standing issues of Parking in the locality of the Southern Region College and the impact on local residents, especially in the locality of the John Martin Gardens, John Martin Street,James Connolly and Michael Mallin Parks area of the City, had been further compounded by the closure of the old Sports Centre Car Park. 
The MLA was commenting after he and his colleague Mickey Brady MP had met with the Southern Regional College to discuss the situation.
The Sinn Féin elected representative explained, 
"Residents living in the vicinity have voiced their concerns about parking in their local area. The issue of all day and night time commuter parking is one faced by many communities.The situation here has been compounded by the closing of the old Sports Centre Car Park as it would have at times been able to accomadate some of those attending the College or other nearby businesses seeking parking. 
Many residents complain of facing problems of others parking outside their homes and using their areas as a car park on a daily basis.As well as the inconvenience caused it can also cause problems for emergency services such as ambulances when driveways are blocked.Residents have also been on the end of verbal abuse when they've challanged motorist parking outside their homes. This is unacceptable".
He continued,
"Myself and Mickey Brady recently met the Regional College Estates manager to discuss these concerns and the overall parking issue in general. The meeting was benifical and the College stated that they were in consultation with the Council to look at the possibility of opening the old Sports Centre Car Park for the Regional Colleges staff and students. The College is  also exploring some short term measures to increase their own parking capacity. The Estates Officer also assured us that the unsightly concrete bollards recently erected at the College enterance would be removed and replaced with stainless steel barriers".
The MLA concluded,
"Hopefully working together we may be able to help alleviate some of the problems faced, in the meantime I would ask all to be mindful of local residents concerns"
Post Date : Mon 04 Dec 2017 09:52 AM

Almost 200 people last night attended a centenary lecture in Ballymacnab hall to mark the foundation of the Ballymacnab Company of the Irish Volunteers who were formed in November 1917. The lecture was delivered by local historian, Liam O’Manachain who focused on the impact which the 1916 Rising had on the local area, leading to the foundation of a local IRA Company under the leadership of the 4th Northern Division. Following the lecture, a specially commissioned video was played which documented the local Republican journey from 1923 up to the present day. The event was organised by the local Caraher/McCreesh Sinn Féin Cumann and was attended by Sinn Féin representatives Cathal Boylan MLA, Cllr Pearse McGeough, Cllr Darren McNally and Cllr Garath Keating. 

Local Sinn Féin member Bróna Haughey who chaired the event said, 
“There has been much interest locally in the role of the Volunteers and the activities they were involved in during a very defining period of Irish history. The presentation focused mainly on the period between 1917 – 1923 when the local IRA Company was formed, their training activities, arms procurement and actions against the British forces during the tan war. 
Commenting on the importance of reflecting on these important events in our history, Bróna said, 
“As Republicans who aspire to the same vision as the brave men and women who went before us, it’s important that we reflect on the very real contribution made locally by people from Ballymacnab and the surrounding area in the ongoing struggle for Irish freedom. We’re pleased to announce that local historian Liam O’Manachain has now decided to publish a book on this important period of Irish history.”
Post Date : Wed 29 Nov 2017 11:23 AM

Newry Mourne & Down Sinn Féin Councillor Liz Kimmins has said that there is a likelihood that the family involved in the recent house explosion in Barcroft will not be back in their home for Christmas.

The Councillor speaking on behalf of the family thanked their neighbours, the Fire Service, the Barcroft Community Association and all who helped them at the time of the incident and have been so supportive since then. 
"The family are in Emergency accommodation at the minute and are not so sure when they will be able to return to their home. The damage involved means that it may not be ready for Christmas" said the Councillor who has also been involved with assisting the family since the incident.
She continued 
"The family wish it placed on record their sincere gratitude to the Fire Service and her neighbours who attended the scene and unselfishly helped them. The neighbour next door to the family in particular, showed great courage and composure in the immediate aftermath of the gas explosion.  They would also like to thank the Barcroft Community Association for their support".
The local elected representative concluded by stating 
"We in Barcroft are proud of our community bond and once again it came to the fore in response to this incident which thank God didn't end with serious injury or loss of life. Hopefully, we will get this family back into their home as quickly as possible".
Post Date : Tue 28 Nov 2017 01:18 PM

Police Service of Northern Ireland win acclaimed award for ‘Operation Peregrine Watch’

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) and partners have won the prestigious 2017 Wildlife Crime Operation of the Year Award – sponsored by WWF – for their outstanding contribution in reducing peregrine falcon persecution in Northern Ireland through the pioneering use of drones.
“Operation Peregrine Watch” made national news after it launched in February. The team used innovative drone technology, a UK wildlife crime first, to keep check on falcon nests in at risk areas and reduce the chance of illegal killings and egg collection. The operation has been a clear success and helped the number of peregrine nests to increase in Northern Ireland from an average of 49 per year in 2016 to 55 in 2017. One of these sites that recorded successful breeding pairs was in Co. Armagh, which had new chicks for their first time in 15 years.
Niki Rust, WWF Wildlife Technical Advisor said:
“WWF is delighted that the Police Service of Northern Ireland and their partners have won the Wildlife Crime Operation of the Year Award for Operation Peregrine Watch. The peregrine falcon is a symbol of our national wildlife heritage that has been ruthlessly persecuted through years of illegal killings and the removal of eggs and chicks for collections and falconry.
“It’s through the clever use of advanced technology, such as the drones, and the tireless work of all those in PSNI that we can ensure that these birds are monitored and protected all year round.”
This award is shared between PSNI and the many teams that contributed to the success of this initiative, such as the Air Support Unit, local Police Sergeant and Corporate Communications Department, Northern Ireland Raptor Study Group and Northern Ireland Environment Agency.
Superintendent Brian Kee, PSNI Service Lead for Wildlife Crime, said:
“We are delighted to have been of assistance in the fight against wildlife crime, and are pleased to be able to continue to work with our partners. In total, 138 peregrine chicks have fledged this year, compared to the average annual production of 109. As far as we are aware, the Police Service of Northern Ireland is one of the first Police Services in the UK to use this technology in this way. The Police Service of Northern Ireland takes all types of crime seriously and this includes wildlife crime.”
Post Date : Tue 28 Nov 2017 01:09 PM


Plans to invest £20m in a new Civic Centre and enhanced theatre and conferencing facilities right in the heart of Newry City were unveiled today at a briefing in the Canal Court Hotel.

The investment, which will focus on developing a new, modern, purpose built Civic Centre, replacing existing Council sites on Monaghan Row and Greenbank, is part of the Council’s plans to regenerate the core city centre in Newry.
The new Civic Centre will help ensure the retention of existing employees, creating a much-improved collaborative workspace for employees as well as local people, visitors and investors using the Civic Centre.
Aligned to the Civic Centre will be the development of enhanced theatre and conferencing space in the core city centre.
The investment of £20m will deliver a significant jobs boost to the area during the construction phase of the project as well as post-construction, and it will also regenerate the heart of Newry City with the Council stating they are keen to hear from developers with sites in core city centre locations.
Speaking at a briefing in the Canal Court Hotel, Council Chair Roísín Mulgrew said: “This is a very exciting and important announcement for Newry City and the entire Council area. This significant investment and regeneration project will lead to new employment opportunities as well as creating a better working environment for our Council staff. It will also deliver a wide range of further tangible economic and cultural benefits for the people of the City and will reinforce our statement that Newry City is very much ‘open for business’.”
She added: “Newry is a gateway city to Belfast and Dublin with a unique geographical advantage, and with fantastic companies such as Norbrook, First Derivatives, STATSports and MJM already located in the city.  We also have a wealth of talented, well-educated and well-travelled young people who want to stay or return to work and live in Newry and the surrounding area. We have a unique opportunity to invest in the traditional heart of the city ensuring we deliver the infrastructure to allow Newry to realise its true potential as a city of importance and deliver greater economic growth and opportunities for everyone.”
Speaking at the briefing Mr Liam Hannaway, Chief Executive of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council said: “Newry is a key city on the island of Ireland and the Council is putting a focus on delivering a number of key strategic projects including this investment, as well as, for example, the Southern Relief Road, to ensure Newry can reach its true potential.
“We are also focused on significant projects right across the Council area including Kilkeel Harbour Development Project, improved rural broadband, the regeneration of Downpatrick town centre and the Slieve Gullion and Camlough Lake natural tourism resources project to name but a few.”
He added: “Some of these projects may be funded through regional, local government or private sector investment, but today is about the regeneration of Newry and the £20m investment announcement in a new Civic Centre aligned to theatre and conferencing facilities will, I believe, attract further investment into the city. This investment will be a driver for economic and jobs growth, as well as a catalyst for additional investment activity and opportunities in the City.”
In relation to the theatre and conferencing facilities, Ms Marie Ward, Director of Enterprise, Regeneration and Tourism said: “We will also bring forward plans for an enhanced theatre and conferencing space. Newry has a thriving Performing Arts Community and our vision is to provide the infrastructure and facilities to support an enhanced and engaging arts, culture and conferencing programme in the City.”
She added: “This has the potential to attract professional and aspiring artists as well as conferences and events, which will generate further economic and social return for everyone in the area. Ultimately, it will deliver access to a new stream of arts and culture to reflect the diversity and ecology of our Council area.”
Recent studies undertaken by the Council point to an increasing demand for hotel and office space in the city centre, which the Council believes might be realised on the back of this significant investment into a new Civic Centre and theatre/conferencing facility.
The Council would now like to hear from developers with sites in private ownership that might meet the Civic Centre requirement.  They plan to run a competitive process commencing in Spring 2018 to identify a partner(s) who can bring forward the Civic Centre and Theatre/Conferencing plans. The Council has also undertaken a review of its own land and asset bank to identify any possible sites within Council ownership.
Post Date : Tue 28 Nov 2017 10:09 AM

The Carrickrovaddy Road in Newtownhamilton has now re-opened following an earlier road traffic collision. Motorists are asked to drive with due care, however, due to reports of black ice in the area.

Post Date : Mon 27 Nov 2017 01:53 PM

Newry & Armagh Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy has said that there is a great potential for the Newry, Mourne & Down Council area to develop, trade, investment, cultural and education links with China.

The MLA has been involved with exploring the potential of developing a "City Connection" with a City in China and he has urged Newry, Mourne & Down Council to "seize the moment"
He explained 
"My late colleague deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness had been instrumental in developing a strong and increasingly positive relationship and bond with partners in China. In April 2012, Vice-Premier Madame Liu Yandong visited Belfast and launched the Confucius Institute which has flourished and developed remarkably and in June 2015 China established its own Consulate in Belfast. Invest NI has established Offices in Beijing and Shanghai, along with the Executive Bureau in Beijing, thus representing a long-term commitment to develop and grow our relationship with China.
I believe that Newry Mourne and Down now has the opportunity to become involved in partnerships with China which will help create jobs, promote prosperity and at the same time promote mutual understanding of our different cultures".
The Newry & Armagh Elected representative continued
"The Executive Bureau have already assisted both Belfast and Derry & Strabane Councils in establishing links with major Chinese cities so I have been working with them for some time to explore similar opportunities for Newry Mourne & Down. I have informed the Council that the region of Changchun in China is keen to explore a partner with this area. Changchun is the capital of northeast China's Jilin province. According to the 2010 census of China, Changchun had a total population of 7,674,439 under its jurisdiction. 
Known locally as China's "City of Automobiles”, Changchun is an important industrial base with a particular focus on the automotive sector. Because of its key role in the domestic automobile industry, Changchun was sometimes referred to as the "Detroit of China." Apart from this industrial aspect, Changchun is also one of four "National Garden Cities" awarded by the Ministry of Construction of P.R. China in 2001 due to its high urban greening rate".
He stated his belief that the Council should explore areas for cooperation. 
"I believe at this early stage the Council should agree to explore areas for cooperation and mutual benefit which should then lead to a formal agreement.  There in particular is a keen interest from Changchun to investigate partnerships in Life & Health Sciences and Agriculture. Next week there is a major Conference in Belfast which will be attended by a delegation from Changchun and I would urge Newry Mourne & Down Council to meet them and initiate formal contacts and agreement"
The Sinn Féin MLA concluded by saying that he believed their visit was exciting potential for coming together to create jobs and promote prosperity.
"Companies from across this Island see that the great potential for them to prosper in the Chinese markets is endless. Chinese companies see Ireland as a natural base for expanding into the wider European, African and Middle East markets. The groundwork has been done and now I hope that Newry Mourne & Down Council will grasp this opportunity and take a lead in developing and growing a relationship not only with Changchun but with China.
Post Date : Mon 27 Nov 2017 10:50 AM
Mackin Makes Her Mark
For the second time in three years Aimee Mackin picked up a TG4 All-Star award at the City West Hotel in Dublin. In 2015 Aimee claimed her first award at left full-forward whilst on Saturday night she was named as an All-Star in the right half-forward berth, beating of stiff competition from Dublin’s All-Ireland winner Carla Rowe and beaten All-Ireland finalist Ciara O’Sullivan from Cork. All at the club are extremely proud of Aimee and we would all like to congratulate her on a tremendous achievement.
Senior Ladies Trip to China
In preparation for their upcoming trip to China there will be an information evening this Tuesday evening, 28th November at 7:30 pm in the club for all players and parents. A representative from the Confucius Institute and UUJ will be attendance. If anyone has specific questions for the evening please contact Peter Lynch or Caoibhe Sloan beforehand to ensure that the answers or information can be provided on the night.
U10 Gaelic football indoor training continues on Wednesday in Cloughreagh Community Centre from 8:15 pm - 9:15 pm. New children are very welcome to come along and join in regardless if they have never played Gaelic football. Beginner skills programme will be provided for new players.
Training for all our U6s continues every Tuesday evening in Bessbrook Community Centre from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm. Everyone please remember to bring water and £1. All new and current U6s are welcome to come along, starting from 3 years old.
Meabh O’Neill’s Camogie 
The camogie club’s AGM will take place on Wednesday, 29th November at 7:30 pm in the Shane’s club-house.
Committee Meeting
All committee members are reminded that Monday nights committee meeting will begin at 8:00 pm.
The club’s Annual General Meeting has been scheduled for Sunday, 10th December at 3:00 pm in the club-house.
A big congratulation this week to Abbie McVerry, Caoimhe Feehan and Rachel McCabe who were all named as part of the Armagh U13 Development Squad earlier this week. They were selected following four weeks of trials which saw over 100 girls take part. Well done girls from everyone at the club and make sure you all keep working and training hard – who knows you may all be future All-Stars yourselves.
Bobble Hats
Can anyone who ordered a bobble hat please contact Yasmin Mackin to arrange collection.
Christmas Coffee Morning
The club is hosting a Christmas coffee morning on Sunday 10th December from 11:00 am – 1:00 pm. Why not come along and enjoy the Christmas festivities with some tasty winter treats – tea, coffee, hot chocolate, mince pies, Christmas treats, cakes and buns – while the children visit Santa.

Last week’s winning lotto numbers were 5, 6, 11 & 18. There were no jackpot winners and 2 x match three winners. The jackpot now stands at a very impressive £7,050 so why not get yourself a ticket…. if you’re not in, you can’t win.