From the pages of the Down Recorder, May 20, 2000

From the pages of the Down Recorder, May 20, 2000

20 May 2020

DOWNPATRICK – Downpatrick could have a major new police base within the next three years, it has emerged.

Plans are currently being drawn up to develop a new district command unit in the town and a number of possible sites to house the development have already been examined.

It is understood that finance to pave the way for the development could be available in 2003, once the Police Authority has completed work on the construction of two new stations in Omagh and Moira.

The Recorder has learned that three areas which have been earmarked as possible sites for the new development in Downpatrick. The most favoured site remains the Downe Hospital complex, although officials from the Authority’s Estates Department have also looked at the Downshire Hospital site.

In addition, the current East Down Institute complex at Lower Market Street is being viewed as a possible site if it presses ahead with ambitious plans to relocate its operation to a new location.

DUNDRUM – Detectives in Newcastle are appealing for witnesses after Dundrum Post Office was robbed on Monday afternoon.

Shortly after 3pm, three male teenagers, aged between 16 and 18, walked into the Main Street premises and smashed a glass partition with a hatchet.

The youths, two of whom were wearing balaclavas and another wearing a grey coloured fleece jacket, then ordered a female member of staff to unlock a room behind the counter before taking an undisclosed quantity of notes.

The robbers made off on foot and no-one was injured during the incident.

KILLYLEAGH – The creation of a new community forum in Killyleagh will be one of the main items on the agenda at a special meeting in the town next week.

Members of the Killyleagh and Shrigley District Town Committee are holding their annual meeting in the town’s Bridge Centre and aim to explore the creation of the new forum.

They believe the move is vital to enable better communication and planning and to help with the compilation of joint funding applications.

The creation of a new forum is also being viewed as the perfect platform on which to develop partnerships of shared interest.

One of the keynote speakers at next week’s annual meeting will be the committee’s secretary who will detail the progress which has been made in the area over the past year.

BALLYNAHINCH – Details of a major community action plan to improve a number of key areas in the Ballynahinch area has been made public.

The wraps were formally taken off the plan last week, which is to be distributed to a number of statutory agencies to provide them with an insight into the areas which local people want to see developed.

Spearheaded by the Ballynahinch, Drumaness and Spa Community Group, the action plan took a number of months to complete and focuses on community safety, traffic and transport, community facilities, the environment and child care and health issues.

SEAFORDE – A major investment by East Down Foxhounds to provide a new incinerator at its Seaforde base is paying a handsome dividend.

The mini incinerator, which has been installed at a cost of £10,000, was financed by the local hunt and the Rural Down Partnership and local farmers have been using the facility in ever increasing numbers.

The local hunt receives fallen animals from local farms and after the excess material is burned off, the meat left on the carcasses is fed to the hounds.

Hunt officials say the new incinerator, which is inspected regularly by senior Department of Agriculture officials, is also playing a key role in helping to protect the local environment.

CROSSGAR – Concerns over the welfare of a group of horses near Crossgar have prompted a USPCA investigation.

Around 18 horses have been placed under close observation by the animal cruelty prevention charity which was contacted by a local landowner after he became concerned about their emaciated appearance.

A USPCA spokesperson confirmed that the organisation has been “keeping a close eye on the animals” which are grazing in fields in the Rockschapel Road area.

“We have carried out an inspection of the horses,” said the USPCA’s Vivien Granger. “They are very lean and we have advised their owner to feed them.”

She added: “Obviously, we will be keeping an eye on this situation. The horses are definitely thin in appearance and would deteriorate if they were not fed.”

ARDGLASS – The Dock Inn ladies’ darts team in Ardglass has helped raise almost £1,000 for the Cancer Research campaign.

The cash, which was handed over recently to Mrs Elizabeth Palmer during a special presentation ceremony, was raised during an Easter draw.

The members of the ladies team would like to thank everyone who helped them raise the £900, including the local businesses who sponsored a variety of prizes.

They included Dock Inn, H McEntee, Strain’s Fuels, Hillhead Garage, IK Meats, O’Zone and Angus Cochrane (who sponsored four prizes).

CASTLEWELLAN – Down Council’s Sinn Fein representatives have this week been criticised for questioning the local authority’s decision to close a playground in Castlewellan.

Last month, in response to concerns of residents in the Woodgrove and Mourne Gardens areas, the council agreed unanimously to close the playground and re-site its play equipment.

But a number of people in the area have claimed they were not consulted and in a public display of opposition to the council’s plans, they were joined by Sinn Fein’s Frank McDowell and Aiden Carlin.

Contractors who had begun the task of moving the play equipment were reportedly asked to leave the area.

But, during Monday night’s monthly meeting of the council, Newcastle councillor Carmel O’Boyle said residents have been complaining about the late-night antisocial activities of young people in the vicinity of the playground since September last year.

MAGHERA – One hundred and seventy five years of Christian worship at Maghera Church of Ireland Parish Church, near Newcastle, will be celebrated at a special anniversary service this Sunday.

It will be a major occasion for the rector, the Rev Chris Carson, and the congregation, who will be joined by representatives from other Christian denominations and by members of their sister parish of Kilmegan.

Special guests will include the former Dean of Down, the Very Rev Hamilton Leckey, and Canon J D Caldwell, rector of Maghera for 35 years and who lives a short distance away.

There has been a church in Maghera since the time of St Donard around 1500 years ago, making it one of the oldest parishes in Ireland and steeped in ecclesiastical history. St Donard is believed to have spent the summer months on the summit of the mountain named in his honour, living in a stone-built shelter and returning to Maghera for the winter.

STRANGFORD – The ladies of Strangford Women’s Institute met earlier this month before they closed for the summer break.

After formal business, which included the news that the Easter cake sale had raised £146, the guest speaker, Mr Joe Maguire, was introduced.

Joe, whose wife Sally is a member of the Institute, gave a talk on the interesting art of glass etching and he explained the tricky techniques used to etch the glass including acid cutting and sand blasting.

Mr Maguire had a number of examples of his work on show, and he even allowed several of the members to try a little glass etching for themselves.

During the evening, members were also reminded that the summer outing to Hillsborough Castle will take place on Saturday, May 27, with members assembling that morning in The Square at 9.30am.

It was also announced that a fundraising fashion show in aid of the Children’s Hospice will be held later this year on September 26.