Post Date : Fri 20 Jan 2017 11:58 AM

O'Dowd expresses shock after woman's body found

SinnFéin MLA John O'Dowd has expressed his shock after the discovery of a woman's body in Lurgan in the early hours of Friday morning. 

The Upper Bann MLA said:

"The news this morning will obviously be a shock to the entire community. 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time. 

"I would appeal for anyone with information to bring it forward to the PSNI." 

Post Date : Fri 20 Jan 2017 09:49 AM

 Dear All 

Susan Lynch who was last seen in Warrenpoint town centre on Wednesday 18th January has been found safe and well. 

Thank you to everyone for their help.

Post Date : Thu 19 Jan 2017 10:22 AM

Sinn Féin MLA Conor Murphy said the DUP economy minister Simon Hamilton has bowed down to public pressure on publishing the names of the beneficiaries of the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme.

However, he said that postponing publication until January 25th smacks of a DUP effort to frustrate proper scrutiny of the list of RHI beneficiaries.

Mr Murphy said:

“Sinn Féin has called for the names of the beneficiaries of the RHI scheme to be published immediately by the DUP economy minister.

“In the light of ongoing revelations around the DUP’s handling of the RHI scheme the public want to know are there any conflicts of interest as a result of family, business or political connections.

“Simon Hamilton has at long last bowed to public pressure and committed to releasing the names of beneficiaries.

“However, he has put back publication of the list to 25th January in what looks like an effort to avoid proper scrutiny.

“The public demands full transparency and accountability around the RHI scheme, which has been associated with allegations of corruption. An independent investigation is the best way to achieve this. 

“The DUP have acted with arrogance and contempt for the public throughout the RHI debacle.

“The people now have an opportunity to have their say on the DUP’s RHI fiasco and their arrogance and disrespect for whole sections of our community.”  

Post Date : Tue 17 Jan 2017 01:52 PM

NI's leading pro-European organisation concerned at NI leaving the Single Market with no functioning administration

Northern Ireland's leading pro-European organisation, the European Movement in Northern Ireland (EMNI), has reacted to the developing news following the Prime Minister's Brexit speech and the collapse of the NI Executive at Stormont. 

EMNI Chair Ian Parsley said: 

"We are deeply concerned that the collapse of the Northern Ireland Executive with no pre-existing 'Brexit Plan' will result in Northern Ireland's distinct interests not being heard as Article 50 is triggered. 

"The Prime Minister's statement puts to an end the fantasy that the UK could remain in the Single Market outside the EU. This was never a realistic option, yet many senior politicians and civic voices presented it as one during the referendum campaign. 

"Yet again, therefore, we see that the referendum outcome, based as it was on a hugely misleading campaign, is leading to a fundamental change in social model which will be to the detriment of public services and of business's ability to trade with our main market. Additionally, as nearly three quarters of imports to Northern Ireland come from the EU, we will see the cost of living rise." 

In relation to the news that elections will take place on March 2 in Northern Ireland, Ian added: 

"It is essential, therefore, that stability is returned to the Northern Ireland Executive after the election so that Ministers can challenge this folly on all our behalves." 

The Deputy Chair of EMNI, Ciaran Hanna welcomed the commitment by the PM to try and keep the Common Travel Area between Ireland and the UK and the decision to give Parliament a vote on the final UK/EU deal. 

"The last thing we need is a hard border back in Northern Ireland, so we will have to keep up the pressure during the negotiations. The collapse of the institutions shows just how irresponsible it was for the DUP to argue for Leaving the EU. Instability was the last thing we needed. Where is the plan? Businesses need to know what will happen now we're leaving the Single European Market and Customs Union." 

Ciaran added there should be a referendum on the deal: 

 "The people should have their say on the final UK/EU deal."

Post Date : Tue 17 Jan 2017 09:36 AM

 Sinn Féin MLA Declan McAleer has welcomed a scheme aimed at introducing more part-time 20 mph speed limits at rural primary schools on roads where the national speed limit applies.  

Declan McAleer said: 

“Children and young people are among the most vulnerable groups using our roads both in the vicinity in schools and the wider community.

“A recent innovation by the Infrastructure Minister has seen the development of part-time 20 mph speed limits at schools, especially those on roads where the national speed limit applies. The speed limit at these schools is reduced to 20 mph at opening and closing times during term times.  

 “The department is now going to test alternative signing arrangements at ten schools. 

“This test will allow them to assess the effectiveness of new arrangements against the existing systems and should also pick up any unforeseen issues.  

“If successful a decision can then be taken whether there should be a comprehensive programme of part-time speed limits rolled out at all rural primary schools.

“It’s important that we do all in our power to reduce the levels of deaths and serious injuries on the roads.” 

Post Date : Tue 17 Jan 2017 09:27 AM

 SDLP South Down MLA Sinead Bradley has cast scepticism on a statement from Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard where he expressed his expectation to see Narrow Water Bridge completed by 2019. 

She said, “They promised the A5 and not one inch of road has been built. They promised the A6, which quickly became a road between Randalstown and Castledawson. Today it looks like the Sinn Féin tactic of hollow pre-election promises is already in full swing. 

“15 minutes before an election was even called, the outgoing Infrastructure Minister used his department to express his commitment to see construction on Narrow Water Bridge begin by 2019. 

“Throughout the embarrassingly short life of this Executive, I asked the Minister several times for an update on Narrow Water Bridge and I was ignored. I don’t think anyone will believe that the project has suddenly become a priority for Chris Hazzard when he hardly mentioned it the entire time he had the power to see it built.

“The priority for the DUP and Sinn Féin has always been and will always be narrow political self-interest. They have no desire to deliver for the people, let alone delivering ambitious infrastructure projects like Narrow Water Bridge. If people want change and delivery, they’ll need to vote for it in March.”

Post Date : Mon 16 Jan 2017 01:35 PM

Sinn Féin MLA Catherine Seeley has said she will not be putting her name forward for selection for the next Assembly election. 

The Upper Bann MLA said; 

"Serving the people of Upper Bann as a Sinn Féin MLA over recent months has been a huge honour and privilege. 

"After much consideration, I have now decided that I will not be putting my name forward as a candidate in this election. An opportunity has arisen for me to return to teaching and I want to pursue it. 

"It has not been an easy decision to make as I have a passion for politics and have enjoyed representing the community, firstly as a councillor and recently as an MLA. 

"Sinn Féin has gone from strength to strength in Upper Bann and will have my full support in the upcoming Assembly election, during which I will be acting as an election agent to help maximise the Sinn Féin vote. 

"I would like to thank the people of Upper Bann and Sinn Féin for the support they have shown me over the years. 

"This will be a hugely important election and it is vital the people have their say and ensure that the political institutions are based on respect, equality and integrity." 

Post Date : Mon 16 Jan 2017 09:51 AM

Gaelic Life All-Star Awards

Last Friday night saw three members of our 2016 senior ladies team - Shauna Grey, Aimee Mackin and Aoife McCoy -  being presented with Gaelic Life All-Star awards at a star studded event in the Hillgrove Hotel in Monaghan. As well as picking up her All-Star Aimee Mackin was also named the Ladies Footballer of the Year.

Senior Men

With David Muckian still at the helm and Kelly O’Rourke joining the back-room team our senior men begin their pre-season training next Sunday morning, 22nd January. Last Monday night our senior men were drawn against Derrynoose in the first round of the intermediate championship.

Minor Boys

A meeting for all players eligible to minor boys’ football in 2017 will take place in club this Tuesday night, 17th January at 7.30pm SHARP to discuss plans for the year ahead. Club membership for U18s is £15.00 so please bring it along as well.

U16 Girls

Circuit training for our U16 girls will start on Tuesday, 31st Jan from 6.30pm to 7.45pm in Bessbrook Community Centre.

U10 Training 

Training for our U10 footballers starts next Sunday morning,22nd January at 11.00am at the field. 


Training for our U6 footballers continues this Wednesday evening at 6.00pm in Bessbrook Community Community Centre and all new boys and girls are welcome to attend.

Meabh O’Neill’s Camogie

Training for all camogs begins again this coming Tuesday evening, 10th January in the sports hall in St Paul’s from 6.00pm – 7.00pm. All new members from age 4 and upwards are welcome to attend.


Shane O Neill’s ladies are currently launching our latest Gaelic4Girls Programme.

G4G, as it's known, is for girls aged between 8 and 13 who would like to begin playing girl's football. 
It doesn't matter if someone has never played before or only has a limited experience, as everyone who comes to G4G will be starting at the same point, learning the basic skills and more importantly making new friends and potential team mates, in a fun, friendly and safe environment. 

The G4G programme begins next Saturday January 21st at 11.00am to 12.15pm in Shane O Neill’s and continues for 8 sessions. The cost is £10 per player with every player receiving a specially designed Shanes G4G training top and certificate on completion. 

Water/juice/fruit and snacks are also provided after each session. 

Most girls who have never played yet would probably not yet own football boots, so to allay the costs of new boots we will be able to supply boots in a range of sizes on day 1, along with a suitable football jersey. 
Our senior ladies team management and players will be coaching and mentoring the group for the 8 sessions. 
Visits to local schools in the Camlough, Bessbrook, Belleek and Whitecross areas took place over the past week and all girls in the age group will have the necessary information home with them.
Gaelic4Girls is a fantastic opportunity for young girls to become involved in such an enjoyable and rewarding sport and we look forward to seeing lots of new and enthusiastic faces on January 21st. 
For any enquiries please contact Peter Lynch 07876453546 or Yasmin Mackin 07929933548. Or alternatively, you can contact us through the club Facebook page. 
Gaelic4Girls has been very successful in the past, attracting many young footballers and we aim to make it another fun and exciting experience for all who attend.

The club would like to thank all the local schools for facilitating our visits over the past week to promote the Gaelic4Girls programme 

Membership Rates for 2017

Club membership is now due and the rates for 2017 are as follows:

Senior Members: £30.00

Cairde Members: £15.00

OAPs: £15.00

U18s: £15.00 for first player in a family, £10.00 for every other player

All membership must be paid before 31st March 2017.


Congratulations to our ladies’ footballer Jessica Watters, Year 13 St Mary's pupil, who has been selected onto the Ulster Colleges All Star Panel as an Under 20 Gaelic football player for her school – well done Jessica.

Best Wishes

Best wishes to our senior ladies’ manager Peter Lynch who is spending a short time in hospital. Best wishes also to our club and Cairde member Noel McTaggart who is recovering at home following a s short hospital stay.


Last week’s winning lotto numbers were: 10, 15, 27 & 31. There were no jackpot winners and 1 x match three winner. The jackpot now stands at £4850. 

Can you please arrange to include the attached picture with our club notes:

Shauna Grey, Aimee Mackin and Aoife McCoy pictured with their Gaelic Life All-Star awards

Post Date : Mon 16 Jan 2017 09:48 AM

Sinn Féin MLA Caitríona Ruane has said she will not be putting her name forward for selection for the next Assembly election. 

Ms Ruane said;  

"It has been an honour and privilege to represent the people of South Down in the Assembly for the last 14 years.  

"Over the years I have been involved in assisting the growth and development of the peace process to create a better society for all our citizens.  

"During that time I have had the pleasure of serving as Education Minister, abolishing the eleven plus exam, tackling underachievement, improving educational attainment and excellence for all, investing in the Irish medium sector and delivering the largest school building programme in decades. 

"I was also proud to promote equality issues in the Assembly at every opportunity; equality for the LGB&T community, for Irish language speakers and for women. As a lifelong feminist I was honoured to have been selected twice by all parties to chair the Assembly's women's caucus.  

"I was also privileged to serve as Principal Deputy Speaker of the Assembly.  

"I have now decided not to put my name forward for selection for the next Assembly election.  

"Sinn Féin has continued to grow in the South Down constituency, as it has across the island, and I have no doubt that local activists will choose a strong team to go before the electorate and they will have my full and enthusiastic support in any upcoming election, in which I will acting as an election agent.  

"This will be a hugely important election and it is vital that people have the opportunity to call time on the DUP's arrogance and put respect and equality at the heart of the political institutions.  

"I want to thank all of the people of South Down and the party in the area for the support and trust they have shown me over the years and I look forward to the continued growth of Sinn Féin in the area. 

"I also want to thank my family; my husband Brian, children Eimear and Deirdre and my grandchild, Sé, for the love and support they have given me over the years." 

Post Date : Fri 13 Jan 2017 09:25 AM

Sinn Féin MLA Pat Sheehan has condemned the shooting of a man and woman in the Turf Lodge area of west Belfast. 


Mr Sheehan said; 


"The shooting of a man and woman in their 50s at a house in Norglen Parade in Turf Lodge was wrong and I condemn it. 


"There can be absolutely no justification for these type of actions. 


"Whoever is responsible needs to stop these barbaric attacks immediately. 


"I would call on anyone with information on this attack to bring it forward to the PSNI."