From the pages of the Down Recorder, July 29, 2000

From the pages of the Down Recorder, July 29, 2000

29 July 2020

BALLYNAHINCH — Spiralling levels of violence in Ballynahinch are to top the agenda at a special meeting in the town.

Church leaders, politicians, community workers, school teachers and traders are to be invited to take part in what is being billed as a “brainstorming session.”

Regeneration officials have thrown their weight behind the plan and the Down Partnership Board is to be asked to get involved to help draw up a major new initiative aimed at curbing the rising levels of violence.

The meeting, scheduled to be held in the town’s Community Centre within the next few weeks, will be chaired by an independent chairman as the people of Ballynahinch are asked to come together in a bid to address the problems which have hit the town. 

The meeting has been called by local DUP councillor, Billy Alexander, who has claimed people in Ballynahinch are “sick and sore and tried of the ongoing violence and intimidation.”

News of the plan to invite key players to discuss the current situation comes in the wake of a series of incidents in Ballynahinch.

CROSSGAR — Regional Development chiefs have again been accused of not consulting with local people about their plans for the Down area.

Three months after they failed to inform people about plans to pump raw sewage from Crossgar to Killyleagh for treatment, they have been accused of not telling residents about road closures in the area.

A number of roads have been closed to allow work to continue on a major new pipeline which will carry the untreated sewage from Crossgar to Killyleagh.

But residents are angry details of the road closures were not made public and have registered their protests with local councillor Margaret Ritchie.

She said residents are concerned about the lack of notice in the wake of the closure of a section of the main Crossgar to Killyleagh road.

“No consultation was carried out with residents in the area, particularly those who live along the road between Crossgar and the Scaddy Road junction,” she said.

NEWCASTLE — Increasing crime levels at one of the area’s premier tourist resorts are being blamed on professional criminals.

Newcastle police chief, Superintendent Raymond McGreevy, said Belfast thieves are targeting the resort and are believed to be responsible for a number of recent incidents.

These include, thefts, burglaries and a series of motoring offences and Mr McGreevy said the fact that travelling criminals are involved makes it all the more difficult to prosecute them. 

The police chief said he is concerned at the increasing number of criminals targeting Newcastle as they make the most of the huge increase in the number of people visiting the resort.

ARDGLASS — A Polish seaman was treated at the Downe Hospital at the weekend after he was injured in an accident in the Irish Sea.

The man, who was taken off the vessel by members of Newcastle lifeboat, was taken ashore at the Phennick Cove marina in Ardglass.

He was transferred to a waiting ambulance and whisked to the local hospital where he was treated for his injuries before being released and returned to his ship.

Mr Dick Shannon, who lives in Ardglass, said the close proximity of the Downe Hospital ensured the injured man was able to be treated for his injuries promptly.

PORTAFERRY — Residents in Portaferry have this week claimed one of Northern Ireland’s most precious assets is under attack — from raw sewage.

They say regular leaks of sewage into Strangford Lough are having a major impact on the environment and could be causing untold damage to the picturesque waterway.

So concerned at the situation was one local resident that he took pictures of sewage lying in an area between the Cook Street jetty and the Salt Pans development and sent them to Regional Development Minister, Peter Robinson.

Portaferry resident Jim Turley, who walks along the seashore most days, said the appearance of sewage in the lough has “sadly become a regular occurrence” and claims that while he has raised the issue with the Department, it continually denies there is a problem. 

SAINTFIELD — A Saintfield man has just completed one of the most exhilarating and rewarding experiences of his life.

Walking 25 kilometres a day in temperatures of 44 degrees centigrade, over ground which hasn’t seen rain for 30 years, would not be considered as the ideal holiday option by most people.

But for Raymond Hillman it was something he enjoyed doing, helping to raise a magnificent £100,000 for charity.

A familiar face throughout the agricultural community where he is widely recognised as the public face of Zeneca Crop Protection, those who know him well are also aware he is not afraid of a challenge.

It came as no surprise therefore when he announced he intended walking across the Namibian desert in aid of Mencap.

ANNSBOROUGH — An urgent health warning has been issued following the mask leakage of chemicals into an Annsborough river, killing an estimated 7,000 fish.

Health and Fisheries authorities are advising people not to handle or eat fish taken from the Ballybannon River and to avoid all contact with the water.

The spillage happened on Monday, destroying aquatic life along a two-and-a-half mile stretch of water  between the local village and the Maghera Bridge, near Castlewellan.

According to environmental experts, it could be many months before the river returns to its natural state because of the amount of damage to the tiny plants and insects which larger fish feed off.

LOUGHINISLAND — A student has marked herself out as a top achiever in her field, having become one of just nine Childcare students in the whole of Britain to reach the finals of a prestigious competition.

Lisa McMullan, from Loughinisland, has been chosen as the only Northern Ireland finalist in the Heinemann Childcare Student of the Year Awards.

The local student was nominated by Hugh J O’Boyle Training’s Early Years and Playwork tutor, Janice Montgomery, on account of her outstanding performance both on her course and in her workplace at Loughinisland Primary School.

DOWNPATRICK — Downpatrick student Cathy Deegan is set to participate in a series of radio broadcasts — all the way from India.

The 18 year-old is travelling to Rajastan in India to work as a volunteer at a special needs centre.

Cathy, who has spent the past two years raising sponsorship to fund the trip, will be making regular reports back to Britain on updating young listeners on her experience of living and teaching at the Centre for Special Education in Jaipur.

CRICKET — A sun-kissed Strangford Road was the perfect setting for one of Downpatrick’s most rousing wins in years when they held on to oust Instonians by five runs on Saturday.

The scene was set for a nailbiting finish after Downpatrick posted 225 for 9 after their 50 overs.

The visitors, who were on the ropes at 117 for 6, staged a late fightback to almost overhaul this total in the last over.

GOLF — Newcastle looks certain to be the winner when the Senior British Open tees off at Royal County Down tomorrow morning.

Thousands of fans are expected to watch some of the legendary names in golf tackle the world famous links.

Most Irish eyes will be on Christy O’Connor Jnr as he seeks to retain the title he won at Royal Portrush last year and a first prize cheque of £63,300.

Huge grandstands have been erected at vantage points all over the course, parts of which have been turned into a tented village.

With a total prize fund of £400,000, the tournament has attracted big names from both sides of the Atlantic.