From the pages of the Down Recorder, June 24, 1992

From the pages of the Down Recorder, June 24, 1992

22 June 2022

BALLYHORNAN – The RUC has expressed concern after more than 200 people attended a 14-hour “rave” party on Ballyhornan beach on Sunday.

Teenagers from as far afield as Belfast and Banbridge descended on the beach early on Sunday morning in what is the latest of a series of secret parties to be held on East Down beaches.

Recently unannounced “rave” parties have been held at Tyrella beach, with one of these spilling over onto Ballyhornan beach, and although the numbers have been relatively small, police are concerned that the organisers may try to stage a massive party in the future.

Sunday’s party comes just two months after police disrupted plans for a massive “rave” party on the site of the former Bishopscourt RAF base.

The RUC closely monitored Sunday’s party, which began at 8.55am and lasted until 10.45pm, and reported all the party-goers were well behaved and caused no disturbance.

Vehicle check-points were established on roads leading to Ballyhornan and on the main roads into Down District, and throughout the day police observed the party from the roadside high above the beach, but did not intervene to move on the disco-dancing revellers.

Several dozen cars and vans drove onto the beach for the party and a large sound system supplied loud disco music for much of the day.

DOWN DISTRICT – Jobs gloom returned dramatically to Down District last month when the area experienced the biggest rise in unemployment in Northern Ireland.

Forty-four people were added to local dole queues during May – a larger number than in any other council region in the province, including the major urban areas and unemployment blackspots.

While jobless totals in Belfast and Londonderry tumbled, Down’s unemployment levels rose by 1.5% per cent, according to statistics compiled by the Department of Economic Development.

The district was one of only six council areas in Northern Ireland to experience a rise in the number out of work.

Down topped the dole queue increases in Limavady, Magherafelt, Newry and Mourne, Fermanagh and Antrim council areas to lead the table of worst-hit regions in May. The second worst hit area was also a County Down district – Newry and Mourne – with a rise of 39.

The new figure for Down means that the total number out of work locally now stands at 3,195, the third worst among the ten district council areas included in the Belfast commuter zone.

BALLYNAHINCH – A package of improvement measures aimed at regenerating Ballynahinch has been welcomed by South Down MP Mr Eddie McGrady.

Mr McGrady has given his seal of approval to a package drawn up by the Ballynahinch Regeneration Committee which includes the creation of a new town park and a ten-pin bowling alley.

Addressing committee members on Wednesday night, Mr McGrady said there is an “urgent need” for Ballynahinch to be economically regenerated.

The committee has identified a plot of land to the rear of the Ballynahinch Community Centre in Windmill Street as the site for the new town park.

It would include a pond, pitch and putt course and space for other outdoor leisure facilities.

The committee believes a complex incorporating a ten-pin bowling alley and a cinema would bring major benefits to the town.

DOWNPATRICK – Down Council has drawn up a corporate strategy to argue the case for the retention of the three Downpatrick hospitals “based on expert medical opinion”.

The council’s health committee met last Thursday to formulate a response to the Eastern Health Board’s controversial plan to axe acute hospital services.

The committee members also considered the application by the Down and Lisburn Unit of Management for trust status.

Afterwards a statement was issued pledging the council’s commitment to lead a campaign “for the retention and enhancement” of current hospital services in Down District.

The chairman of the committee, Mr John Ritchie, said afterwards: “The whole community recognises the importance of retaining and improving hospital services in Downpatrick and the committee will spearhead discussion and debate amongst public representatives, GP’s and others on the future of local hospital provision.”

NEWCASTLE – The planned merger of Newcastle and Down Colleges of Further Education will benefit the people of East Down provided additional finance is forthcoming, it was claimed this week.

The principal of Newcastle College, Mr Tom Place, said that while he would prefer to see his college retained as a separate entity, he believed that given adequate Government funding the merger would enhance education and training opportunities.

Mr Place was speaking after the publication of a review into further education in Northern Ireland which recommended the merging of the two local colleges under the management and administration of the Downpatrick complex.

The merger is part of a Province-wide rationalisation process which sees the number of further education colleges shrink from 24 to 13 through several amalgamations.

While the review has yet to be approved by Education Minister, Jeremy Hanley, he has already made it known that he is in favour of further education rationalisation, in the form of mergers.

STRANGFORD – A Strangford girl has narrowly failed to reach the final of a major UK cooking competition.

But 15 year-old Eimear Owens still won the heart of TV gourmet Loyd Grossman.

Eimear cooked Master Chef presenter Loyd a culinary treat in her bid to win the Scotland and Northern Ireland final of the 1992 Sainsbury’s Future Cooks competition.

A pupil of the Assumption Grammar School in Ballynahinch, Eimear’s task was to prepare a meal for a famous food personality.

Her mouth-watering twisted fillet of fish followed by peach yoghurt cake narrowly failed to get the judges’ verdict and a place in the national final.

Even so, Elmer didn’t come away empty-handed. She was presented with a personalised certificate, cook book, £50 in cash and an ice cream and sorbet maker.

KILLYLEAGH – Northern Ireland’s newest golf course is open for play and proving a big attraction with local golfers.

The Ringdufferin Golf Course, located two miles to the north of Killyleagh on the Comber Road, is now open for play.

The course was created by local farmer Jim Lindsay on part of the family-owned farm overlooking Strangford Lough.

“We will be having an official opening in August or September but so far we are pleased with the response,” explained Jim this week.

Membership will close at 200. Already 170 people have signed up.

It has taken around 18 months to create this new nine-hole golf course which is a par 70 and takes in around 5,350 yards.

MAGHERADROLL – The parishioners of Magheradroll gathered in the Ballynahinch Community Centre on Sunday night to celebrate the Golden Jubilee of the ordination to the priesthood of their parish priest, Canon Patrick Smyth.

It was exactly 50 years to the day since the Canon, a native of Mayobridge, was ordained in Newry Cathedral on June 21, 1942.

On his ordination he went to England, where he held several posts in the Diocese of Plymouth, before returning home to take up the post of Curate in the parish of Lurgan.