Post Date : Thu 16 Nov 2017 10:12 AM

Sinn Féin MLA Megan Fearon has welcomed a historic Yes vote in favour of marriage equality in a non-binding nationwide survey in Australia. 

The party’s equality spokesperson said:
“Following the historic vote in Australia we now have another of the largest countries in the world voting in favour of marriage equality.
"Although the vote itself is non-binding it should be welcomed as a progressive and forward thinking step.
"The denial of the right to marriage equality in the north of Ireland by the DUP, facilitated by the British government is discriminatory as it is available everywhere else on these islands. 
“Sinn Féin believe in and will continue to stand up for equality, respect, recognition and rights for all citizens." 
Post Date : Wed 15 Nov 2017 09:33 AM
Commenting on reports that Police have seized Drugs with an estimated street value of £160,000 in the Bessbrook area, Newry and Armagh Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy said
"This significant seizure of drugs means that lives have been saved. It is essential that the PSNI is effective in removing drugs from our streets and also arresting those believed to be involved in the supply trade. These people have no regard for the people in their own communities, but instead are fuelled by a selfish desire to make money from others’ addictions"
Echoing her colleague’s sentiments local Councillor Roisin Mulgrew said

"I share the delight of the community that such a huge amount of drugs have been taken off our streets. I urge the Police to continue to pursue those who engage in the world of illicit drugs, and ensure they face the full rigours of the law. There should be no hiding place for them.” 

Post Date : Tue 14 Nov 2017 12:44 PM
Sinn Féin Councillor Terry Hearty has urged parents to be vigilant for harmful items discarded on the street.
The Slieve Gullion representative issued the warning after residents in Glassdrummond found used syringes and other items of drug paraphernalia on the Glassdrummond Road.
“I would stress that there is no intention here to cause a panic or undue concern but I would just urge parents to be vigilant for dangerous items that may be lying on the ground around the community,” he said.
“I would also ask them to perhaps have a talk with their children about the dangers of going near such things.
“To those who carelessly discarded these disgusting items close to homes, school bus stops, a primary school and a play school, I would plead with you just to stop for one minute and think about your actions.
“If you want to destroy your own life with this stuff that is one thing but you have absolutely no right to put the children of this area in danger.

“If a child had fallen on or picked this stuff up it’s unthinkable what could have befallen them. Used needles can pass on any number of blood-borne viruses and infections. Is that really something you want on your conscience? 

Post Date : Tue 14 Nov 2017 11:10 AM
Cllr Terry Hearty helps remove the dumped waste from the Creggan River 
Creggan River Dumping Causes Anger 
Sinn Féin Councillor Terry Hearty has hit out at those responsible for dumping household waste in the Creggan River.
The Slieve Gullion representative made the comments after removing several bags of rubbish from the water himself.
“I'm absolutely baffled and appalled at how someone could do this,” he said.
“Not only is it unsightly, deeply disrespectful to the area and the community, dangerous to livestock that drink from the river and damaging to the environment, but it is easier than ever now to dispose of waste.
“Along with blue, brown and black bins we also have a state of the art recycling facility in Crossmaglen. There is no possible excuse for this. It is wanton vandalism and pollution.
“This absolutely cannot be tolerated and I would urge anyone with any information on who may be responsible for this or similar acts of dumping to contact myself, Environmental Health or the police.

“The people of this area have worked long and hard to undo the damage caused to it by decades of occupation, to restore South Armagh to its natural beauty and to make it an inviting place for visitors. We will not allow that work to be spoiled by the lazy, the ignorant and the spiteful.” 

Post Date : Tue 14 Nov 2017 10:57 AM
Down County Board Updates 
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
Trials are starting in December 2017; can all clubs please spread the word and encourage all players to participate. Further details will be published closer to the time – keep an eye out on Facebook. 

Down U16 – BORN 2002 ONLY 
Trials for 2018 U16 Down Ladies Squad will continue on Sunday 19th November in Ballykinler GAC. Many thanks to the girls who braved to cold east Down wind! It was a very impressive session with a lot of skill and talent on display. Trials are open to all girls born 2002 only and mentors would encourage all eligible girls to attend. 
Details for forthcoming Sunday:
Session 1 11:30 am - 12:50 pm - Girls from the following clubs are asked to attend arriving at 11:20 am
RGU Downpatrick
St John's
Session 2 1 pm – 2:20 pm - Girls are asked to arrive at 12:50 pm
Trials will continue weekly with the final squad being named on 3rd December.
week 3 - 26th November St Colman’s College Newry 12:30 pm – 2 pm
week 4 - 3rd December Ballykinler GAC 11:30 am – 1:30 pm
week 5 - 10th December final squad training session 11:30 am – 1 pm
U16 Management would encourage all girls to attend all of the trial sessions as each girl will be assessed on a weekly basis with final squad determined on performances from all 4 weeks. Girls are asked to wear their club shorts, bring mouth guards and a water bottle. 

Down U15 – BORN 2003 ONLY 
Massive thanks and well done to the 33 girls that attended the u15 trials today. It was great to see so many of last year’s squad returning and even better to see both new faces and girls that didn’t make the squad last year back to give it another go. It was disappointing however that, so many clubs were not represented, and especially missed were girls from the clubs that have recently played in U14 finals. There is still time for those girls to make the squad as trials continue next Sunday same time and place. 
The girls from the following clubs are asked to arrive by 12:15 pm and session will last from 12:30 pm - 1:45 pm:
St John's Bosco
And girls from the following clubs are asked to arrive by 1:30 pm and the session will last from 1:45 pm – 3:00 pm:
St John’s
Again, if you can’t make it please contact Aidy (07842876034) or Donnla (07590574561) and just let us know the craic. Please note that we will be trimming down the numbers from next week onwards. See you all there with gumshields and water bottles.
Down U14 - BORN 2004 ONLY
The Down U14 championship squad for 2018 has now been selected and names /clubs are listed below. Congratulations to those girls selected. The selection of the panel was much tougher this year due to the very high quality of the players at the trials and the limited number of places available on the panel. The mentors would like to thank all the girls, parents and clubs for their tremendous efforts and cooperation since the start of the Academy at the end of August. 
Heidi Conlon                       Annalish
Mollie Sheppard                Annalish
Grainne Cunningham        Ballymartin
Aoife Doyle                         Bredagh
Lily McKee                           Bredagh
Shauna O'Higgins               Bryansford
Orlaith Lynch                      Burren
Jenna McMahon                Burren
Cliodhna Murphy               Burren
Aoibhin Dougan                 Carryduff
Ciara McCullough              Carryduff
Rihanna Wojcieszak          Carryduff
Niamh King                         Castlewellan
Una Fearon                         Clonduff
Eveagh Kelly                       Clonduff
Caoimhe McKeown           Clonduff
Ellen Shields                       Clonduff
Katie Howlett                     Cumann Pheadair Naofa
Caoimhe Quinn                  Cumann Pheadair Naofa 
Enya Quinn                         Cumann Pheadair Naofa 
Kirsten Cunningham         Dundrum
Lauren Devlin                     Kilcoo
Colleen McClean                Kilcoo
Caroline Kennedy              Loughinisland
Ellie Carr                              Mayobridge
Emily Fitzpatrick                Mayobridge
Laura Greenan                   Mayobridge
Katie Convie                       RGU Downpatrick
Neva Louden                      RGU Downpatrick
Lianna Farrelly                   Rostrevor
Kate Rice                             Rostrevor
Nora Maguire                     Sabhaill Naomh Pádraig
Erin Byrne                            Saval
Anna Mulholland               Saval
Down U13 - BORN 2005 ONLY
Thanks to all 42 girls that attended the first trial for the Year 2005 group. Every girl put in a massive effort and commitment with no shortage of skill on display and us as coaches were very impressed. 2nd trial for the remaining clubs will be held on Saturday 25th November at the Abbey Grammar School in Newry as per previous messages. Well done girls.
Post Date : Mon 13 Nov 2017 10:27 AM
Michelle O Neill pictured at the Edentubber Martyrs Monument with family members of those who died 60 yrs ago and Sinn Féin elected representatives from the Louth, Armagh and Newry areas. 
“It is clear that the Tory government’s priority at this time is to sustain its political pact with the DUP,” she commented.
“Theresa May and her party have acquiesced in their own self-interests to the DUP blocking the equality agenda and denying rights which are the norm in all other parts of our islands.
“Sinn Féin remains committed to the restoration of the institutions and the Executive.
“However, they only have value if they enjoy the confidence and support of the people they were established to serve.
“They only have meaning if they are delivering fairly for all our people based on the principles of equality and mutual respect on which they were founded.

“If the DUP or anyone else wish to exercise political power in Government in the North of Ireland now or in the future, then the cost is to embrace a rights-based society and equal partnership government, which works for everyone.” 

Post Date : Mon 13 Nov 2017 10:21 AM

Senior Ladies Trip to China

In preparation for their upcoming trip to China our senior ladies will continue with their Mandarin lessons in the club on Tuesday night from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm.
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
Training continues St Paul's every Wednesday evening from 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm and all players are asked to attend. Congratulations to club coach Jason Hazzard who got married to Nicola Boylan during the week.  
Committee Meeting
All committee members are reminded that Monday nights committee meeting will begin at 8:00 pm.
Paddy Lynch Memorial Cup Darts Tournament
The annual Paddy Lynch Memorial Cup darts tournament will take place in the club on Sunday 26th November. Entry fee to the tournament is £5.00 with registration beginning at 1:00 pm with the first darts being thrown at 2:00 pm. There is a total of £300.00 prize money on offer with the winner getting £140.00, the runner-up getting £80.00 and the two beaten semi-finalists getting £40.00 each. All entry fees and raffle proceeds are in aid of Children with Diabetes.
Well Done
Well done to Owen Reel who picked up an award at the Ulster Ladies Gala Ball on Saturday in recognition of his contribution to ladies’ football.
Last week’s winning lotto numbers were 19, 20, 23 & 29. There were no jackpot winners and 5 x match three winners. The jackpot now stands at a very impressive £6,950 so why not get yourself a ticket…. if you’re not in, you can’t win.
Post Date : Mon 13 Nov 2017 10:18 AM

Detectives in Newry are investigating an arson attack at a property in Loanda Crescent on the morning of Saturday 11th November.

Detective Sergeant Peter Stewart said: “Police received a report of a fire at the front door of a first floor flat at Loanda Crescent at around 8am on Saturday morning. Upon arrival of police and NIFRS personnel, the fire had been extinguished by a neighbour. Checks were then carried out to ensure no-one was inside the flat. At this time, it is believed that accelerant was poured on the door and then set alight. The door of the flat has been badly damaged as a result of the fire and smoke damage caused to the inside of the property.”
“I would ask anyone who noticed any suspicious activity in the Loanda Crescent area at the time of this incident or anyone who has any information which could assist with our enquiries to contact detectives in Ardmore on 101 quoting reference number 354 11/11/17 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Post Date : Mon 13 Nov 2017 10:16 AM

Sinn Féin elected representatives express concerns at lack of consultation on upcoming sewerage works.

Residents of Niall’s Crescent have been left perplexed as to why sub-contractors working for NIW have pitched up at the green area yesterday and have begun digging up soil and grass on which local children play. 
Cathal Boylan said:
“Residents have received no warning that works were coming considering the scope of the massive excavating operation that is due to commence.
“No-one appears to have been consulted on this which is extremely worrying.  My office has been inundated with phone calls questioning what is going on. It is highly unprofessional for any agency to proceed with works without notifying residents and this is cause for concern. 
“After getting on to NIW we have come to learn that new sewerage pipes are to be laid under the Killylea Road.
“Nobody can deny that sewerage is an issue across Armagh, indeed I have met with NIW on many different occasions to highlight this. There are many across the West of the city who have been experiencing problems with sewerage will be glad to hear that something is finally being done to address it. 
“When complete the scheme will meet NIEA standards, reduce the risk of ‘out of sewer’ flooding and facilitate future development within Armagh city for the next 30 years by improving and increasing the capacity of the sewerage infrastructure.  
“This is much needed work however it cannot be denied that the least that could have been done is for local residents to have been told of the work in advance, the reasons for it and how long it would take. None of these actions have been taken. 
“Frustration at the constant roadworks is building and lack of communication and consultation only adds to this frustration."
Councillor Garath Keating has been down to the site to determine what has happened and has seen that the sub-contractors have already dug up the grass and laid down stones and slabs which will be used as a base for machinery to carry out the much needed works.
He said:
“Even if an arrangement were to be made so that the contractor could work from an alternative base, the green area has been completely ruined and will take months to for it to return to a suitable condition for children to play on. 
"At this stage it is unclear if even the Housing Executve have been made aware of this.
“I have been advised that the works themselves will take approximately 5 weeks providing that workers do not encounter any unexpected delays. 
“After pressing NIW we have come to learn that works will be taking place after 9.30am and will finish at 4.30pm to keep traffic disruption to a minimum. 
“Sinn Féin representatives will be pressing NIW to carry out proper consultation with residents and local authorities. This simply cannot be allowed to happen again.
The people of Armagh are fed up with the continuous tail-backs and disruptions along this road. It is long past time for the city's link roads to be given serious consideration by all authorities involved."
Post Date : Mon 13 Nov 2017 10:12 AM
Terry Hearty, Sinn Fein Councillor, welcomes the eventual repair to street lighting in Crossmaglen.  
"I am relieved to have some of the street lights fixed after weeks of liaising with 
The Department for Infrastructure." Newry Street and Carran Road have been in darkness for quite some time now, and this has created danger and inconvenience to pedestrians, businesses and home owners. Now that most of the lights appear to be working again, things have improved and people can travel in a safer manner, but work remains to be done and I will continue to petition the Department to finish the job as quickly as possible. 
This is an ongoing issue which myself and my fellow Sinn Féin councillors have been highlighting right across the council area of late. I have to say I was incredibly disappointed to learn that there is only one crew delivering maintenance and repairs to street lighting across the entire district, hence the extensive delays in fixing street lights.
Sinn Féin will continue to raise this issue and lobby The Department for Infrastructure to address the staff shortages in their maintenance department to expedite all repairs to street lighting in a timely fashion.

If you notice any lights that remain unlit, then please contact the Sinn Féin office in Crossmaglen on 028 3086 1948.