From the pages of the Down Recorder, June 8, 1994

From the pages of the Down Recorder, June 8, 1994

5 June 2024

KILLYLEAGH – As hundreds of ex-servicemen and women gathered in Normandy on Monday to take part in the 50th anniversary celebrations of the D-Day invasion, a shorter but equally poignant service was held in Killyleagh.

Only three people were in attendance at the town’s Castle for the wreath laying ceremony by men who took part in history’s most ambitious air and naval assault which saw 150,000 descend on the beach.

The act of remembrance was performed by D-Day veterans Mr George Cochrane and Mr Moore Ruddock, who were accompanied by the chairman of the town’s Royal British Legion branch, Mr Gerry Walsh.

Over the weekend, both men were glued to their television sets watching events unfold in Portsmouth from where the D-Day invasion was controlled.

And as they laid the wreath on Monday morning their thoughts were with those in Normandy and the many close friends and colleagues who did not escape the ravages of war against Germany, along with 10,000 others who died on the first day of the invasion.

Both men were reluctant to recall that day back in June 1944 and refused to be classed as heroes. Proudly displaying their medals they stood shoulder-to-shoulder at the castle in silent tribute to those who had gone before.

“We are here to remember our many friends who fought with us side-by-side,” said Mr Cochrane, who landed at Ranville in a glider shortly before 9pm on D-Day.

DOWNPATRICK – Downpatrick’s business community is divided over the erection of new pedestrian safety railings at the town’s Lower Market Street area.

And they are also alarmed the railings are to remain in their galvanised state for at least another nine months and will not be painted when work starts in January on a £100,000 project to regenerate the area.

Chamber of Commerce president Brendan Kearney says some traders are opposed to the railings, but realise they have been erected to make things safer for the town’s pedestrians.

Figures released by the Department of Environment show there have been 11 accidents at the Lower Market Street area involving pedestrians over the past 18 months and senior Roads Chiefs say the railings are “a necessary evil”.

However, not everyone is in agreement with the erection of the railings and some businessmen have claimed they will affect their turnover.

“The figures issued by the Department cannot be argued with and hopefully traders will realise they have been erected in the interests of pedestrians and to prevent further accidents,” said Mr Kearney.

DRUMANESS – It is not only adults who possess business brains in Drumaness, if the work of the village’s primary school is anything to go by.

P7 pupils have recently been presented with a Gold Standard Award for their entry in the 1994 Industry Matters Challenge, one of only 26 schools out of 180 to receive such recognition.

The class project which earned them such a high honour was based on the theme of “Paper and Paper Products” which initially involved them visiting the offices of a local newspaper and a paper recycling plant.

They then set about organising their own mini-business which was named “Drumaness Paper Supplies” and whose products includes paper hats, folders, cards, bookmarkers, paper jewellery and a class newspaper.

The business plan earned a grant of £30 from the school principal, Mr Leo Flanagan, which was used to buy cardboard and stationary.

The project tied in a number of subjects in the curriculum, including English, with the children writing letters, reports and articles for their newspaper.

ARDGLASS – The wraps were taken off a major £1.1m funding scheme for Ardglass yesterday afternoon to help boost the village’s tourist industry.

The announcement comes a week after the Rural Development Council made £509,000 available to the village’s Development Association for a new marina and other associated developments.

The latest cash injection by the International Fund for Ireland will enable the Association’s three-pronged attack on the village’s economic decline to develop at a more rapid pace.

Details of the funding package were announced under a new fishing villages programme designed to regenerate the economies of the main fishing ports on the east coast of the Province.

And the cash boost for Ardglass will help with the development of a £1.34m sheltered boat park which will provide short-term berthing facilities for visiting pleasure crafts.

DOWNPATRICK – Downpatrick’s most senior cleric is still coming to terms with his elevation to one of the most prestigious positions within the Roman Catholic Church.

Canon Joseph Maguire, who has been in the town since 1977, was last weekend made a Prelate of Honour by Pope John Paul II and is now a Monsignor.

He joins an elite band of priests who have had the honour bestowed on them. There are presently around 100 Monsignors in Dioceses all over Ireland.

The announcement was made on Sunday morning by the Bishop of Down and Connor, Dr Patrick Walsh, during Mass at St Patrick’s Church and Monsignor Maguire received a standing ovation from his parishioners.

Dr Walsh said he was delighted the Pope had recognised Monsignor Maguire’s “tremendous service to the Diocese of Down and Connor.”

CASTLEWELLAN – The residents of a Castlewellan estate have become the latest Housing Executive tenants to rebel against glass-fronted fires.

Almost every tenant in the Drumee Estate have signed a petition calling on the Executive to remove what they believe is a “hazardous closed fire system” and replace them with open fires.

The call from the Castlewellan residents mirrors similar appeals from Newcastle, Downpatrick and Killyleagh in Down District, and others from across the Province.

The Drumee residents have launched their campaign after a number of incidents involving the fires, the latest in the home of Mr John Sloan, who was advised by the Coal Advisory Board to put the fire out and not light it again until the chimney was property swept.

The major problems centre around the smokeless fuel which is burnt in the fires and which causes the chimneys to “choke up” to the extent it takes a four-man team of workmen with mechanical equipment to clean them.

CROSSGAR – Just a stone’s throw from Crossgar’s Main Street, behind the high walls of a Victorian garden, lies one of Northern Ireland’s most impressive conservation projects.

But to call the Ulster Wildlife Trust’s centre, in the grounds of the Tobar Mhuire monastery, a mere conservation project is to do it an injustice. Education, preservation, re-creation and management are all practised at a centre which is in reality a cameo of the Trust’s work throughout the province.

The second largest employer in Crossgar, with 40 full and part-time staff, the centre uses four specially-constructed areas to focus not only on the problems facing the province’s landscape but on the beauty of the countryside.

Pathways lead visitors through a diversity of the four re-created habitats which are the area’s most at risk from development, agriculture and leisure activities.

DOWNPATRICK – A new ambulance is to be based in Downpatrick in a £300,000 upgrading of the local emergency service.

The new Patient Transport Services vehicle will be introduced before the end of the year to deal with the routine transfer of patients from the Downe to Belfast hospitals.