From the pages of the Down Recorder, May 11, 1994

From the pages of the Down Recorder, May 11, 1994

8 May 2024

TECONNAUGHT – Two of the Premier League’s biggest football clubs are to do their bit to help children at Teconnaught’s Holy Family Primary School.

FA Cup finalists Manchester United and Chelsea have both given the go-ahead for their top stars to autograph a ball which will be raffled to raise funds for the school.

Two weeks ago, the school’s Partially Hearing Unit was destroyed in a malicious blaze which caused damage estimated at over £30,000.

Vital pieces of equipment were also lost in the blaze including a computer, specialised hearing units and videos, but the big-name stars have agreed to help the fundraising effort.

And it has all been made possible by officials of Crossgar Youth League, spearheaded by their energetic chairman, Mr Tom Skeffington.

Following the blaze, he contacted the two clubs and arranged to have both cup final squads sign a ball which is to be presented to the school and used in a special ballot.

Youth League officials hope the ballot will raise a substantial amount of money to help replace the equipment lost in the blaze and they are encouraging all sports clubs in the area to buy tickets, as well as members of the public.

BALLYNAHINCH – Down District Citizens Advice Bureau is moving towards its “naked ambition” of serving all parts of the area equally.

That is the view of its chairman, Mr Marcus Duignan, who will tell next week’s annual general meeting the Bureau is also on the verge of opening its new premises in Ballynahinch.

Recently, the agency, which aims to ensure individuals do not suffer through ignorance of their rights and responsibilities or of the services available to them, has moved towards “realistic funding arrangements” with Down Council.

CAB officials rely solely on a grant from the local authority to run the service and the amount provided by the council to the management committee has doubled in the past year.

The move has been welcomed by the Bureau and the extra cash has resulted in it being able to appoint full-time and part-time managers and without both posts, Mr Duignan says things would be extremely difficult.

DOWNPATRICK – Senior officials at the Department of Health will be presented with preliminary proposals for the new Downe Hospital this autumn.

A detailed business plan containing a breakdown of the estimated £13m needed to fund the project will also be forwarded to staff at Dundonald House as the Down Lisburn Trust begins its move to secure major capital funding.

And if everything goes according to plan and there are no hitches, building work could start during the next financial year, with a completion date of 1998.

The news was revealed during last week’s annual general meeting of the Down Community Health Committee by the Trust’s chief executive, Dr Collim Patton.

He said that when built, the new hospital will have to reflect the changing pattern of medicine and take into account a number of relevant factors, including shortened length of stays and new technology.

NEWCASTLE – Two tethered climbers, who fell down a Mournes cliff face at the weekend and were winched to safety by helicopter, escaped the ordeal without serious injury.

A witness said that one of the men slipped after climbing 60 feet up Spellach’s Cliff, close to Hares Gap, on Sunday afternoon.

After striking a rock ledge, the man fell a further 100 feet, pulling the second climber, following below him, down also. A third was able to raise the alarm.

The Mourne Mountain Rescue Team had to call in an RAF Wessex helicopter to winch a doctor to the inaccessible ledge they landed on, to examine a broken shoulder sustained by one of the men. He was later taken to Craigavon Hospital, while the other was treated for concussion at Downe Hospital.

“The men were very lucky that they got away with slight injuries,” said David Goddard of the rescue team. “Both casualties were in danger of slipping and falling further.”

KILLYLEAGH – An angry Killyleagh tenant has slammed “clock-watching” housing officials who refused to take his complaint about rats – because he was 15 minutes too early.

Mr Thomas Mountcastle, claimed he was turned away from the Housing Executive’s John Street office at 9.15am on Friday morning, because the counter isn’t manned until 9.30.

After travelling into Downpatrick with an emergency request for help with getting a rats nest removed from his garden, he claimed a security guard told him to go home and phone the problem in.

“The security guard told me that nobody works on this desk until 9.30am, and that I would see nobody until 9.30,” he said.

Describing a minor plague of the rodents, which had re-opened a sealed-up entrance to their nest just beside his back door, Mr Mountcastle said the situation was an emergency and was angry that no-one was prepared to deal with it just a few minutes early.

DUNDRUM – Roads Service chiefs have this week being asked to carry out major safety improvements in Dundrum before someone is killed or seriously injured.

The warning has been delivered by the village’s councillor, Mrs Frances Flynn, who says the speed of traffic entering the village from both directions is “dangerously high”.

She made her request to the area’s Divisional Roads Manager, Mr David Stewart, during a special council meeting on Monday evening when he was presenting his annual report.

The roads chief said he was prepared to meet Mrs Flynn at his office, but she would prefer an onsite meeting to point out her concerns and show where improvements can be made.

“The people in Dundrum are crying out for something to be done to improve safety standards in the village,” she said.

“Both the young and the elderly take their lives into their hands when they cross Main Street and it is high time we had a pedestrian crossing to allow people safe passage.”

BALLYNAHINCH – Untreated sewage has been pouring into the Ballynahinch River for over a century, it was claimed this week.

And early estimates suggest it is going to take tens of thousands of pounds to cure the problem which has been on-going since 1890.

The startling revelation was made on Monday evening when senior DoE Water Service officials gave an undertaking to Down councillors to rectify the present situation.

It also appears that the practice would have continued if the owner of one of the houses at the town’s Dromore Street had not applied for grant-aid to carry out some renovations.

Alarm bells started ringing while his application was being processed and the Housing Executive’s grants officer criticised the present system and asked for the house to be connected to the mains sewer immediately.

However, Water Service chiefs have indicated that a scheme to prevent untreated sewage entering the area’s watercourse is at the “detailed design stage”.

DOWNPATRICK – One of the strongest supporters of the Downpatrick Link Road scheme has this week pressed the Department of Environment to grant planning permission to allow work on the project to progress.

Mr John Doris said he hopes there will be “movement on the ground” and has welcomed moves by senior Roads Service officials who have met those opposed to the scheme.

The new cost projection stands at £2m and the scheme has been included in next year’s budget, but it remains to be seen whether or not the work will start on time