LATEST NEWS

Digital Film Session for Ballynahinch Library

There will be a special Belfast Shipyards and Titanic Digital Film Event in Ballynahinch Library on Thursday 26th April at 11.00am.

This film has been taken from the Northern Ireland Film and Television Commission’s Digital Film Archive (DFA) which is now available for public use and is a free resource for anyone who has an interest in moving images. Admission is free and everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy this event. – but booking is essential as places are limited.

Contact: Lucy Finney at 028 2566 4105


Dundrum Angling Club to improve Dam

DUNDRUM Angling Club has been awarded a grant of £8400.

The funds approved by Down District Council towards an Aquatic Weed Control Project for the Dundrum Dam, a trout fishery, will be through the Landfill Tax Community Funding administered by the Ulster Wildlife Trust. The DAC are faced with a problem of invasive aquatic weed at the Dam.

The curly leafed, non-native waterweed often sold in garden centres for aquatic garden ponds, has started to run amok and is choking up the dam. The weed can grow to such an extent that it can carpet the fishing area if not checked. It would restrict angling activities and also make life difficult for native species such as sticklebacks and eels and the stocked trout.

It can also have a knock on effect to other wildlife at the Dam such as kingfishers and little grebes resident all year round. Also around the Dam are often seen a pair of otters and also a long-eared owl and water hens. The DAC wish to allow the native species of aquatic plant to flourish and to sustain a suitable habitat for local wildlife to flourish. Meetings have taken place with the Northern Ireland Environment Agency who has assessed the impact of the weed.

The club will now be able to continue its stewardship of the Dam and help provide recreational angling and bird watching. The project will be managed by 15 volunteers and it will provide 500 metres of extra path along the Dam.

And overall DAC will help conserve a total of 15 species.


Clarke Welcomes Re-opening of Rathfriland Fire Station

SOUTH Down Sinn Féin MLA Councillor Willie Clarke has welcomed news that Rathfriland Fire Station is due to be reopened after having a major refurbishment.

Councillor Clarke said: “The refurbishment of Rathfriland fire station was a top priority given the circumstances and the needs of the Fire Rescue Service in the area.

“I am confident that any improvements to our local fire stations will help to make the service they offer a more efficient and effective one, and this will undoubtedly help save lives. It is important that fire crews are given the proper conditions in which to work out of and that stations are maintained to the highest standards.

“I look forward to this station serving the needs of the local community in the years ahead.”

Titanic Memorial for Comber

‘Titanic passenger’ Karen Todd from the Valhalla Theatre Group is pictured placing a rose in the Memorial Gardens, Comber Square, in memory of all those who died 100 years ago on the Titanic.

A new Titanic Memorial is to be dedicated in Comber

Looking on poignantly are fellow ‘passengers’ Ann Phillips. On Saturday 14 April (11-11.45 am) the Mayor of Ards will dedicate a new Titanic Memorial in Memorial Gardens, reflecting Ards Borough’s very personal connection to the Titanic story through Thomas Andrews Junior, one of Comber’s most famous sons, who oversaw the plans for the design of what was, in 1912, the world’s largest ship.

The Titanic was built by a workforce including many of the people of the Borough. The memorial dedication is just one of many Titanic inspired events and activities taking place in Ards Borough this month.

For more information contact Ards Tourist Information Centre at 028 9182 6846 or go to www.visitstrangford.co.uk

Sharvin Addresses Noise Problem in Strangford

SDLP Down District Councillor Gareth Sharvin has called for the council, police and community in Strangford to work together to put an end to night-time noise problems in The Square.

Councillor Sharvin said: “I have been contacted by a number of residents, many of whom have young families, who have been disturbed by car stereos in The Square at night.

“This problem appeared to have abated after previous cooperative work between community police and the council was put into action but it is an issue which has slowly crept back to prominence.

“I will be contacting the relevant council officers to discuss what plans they have to avoid such problems in the area, but in the meantime, I would ask people to show due consideration for each other in the area.

“If anyone has any further difficulty, do not hesitate to contact me or the Council.”

Police Appeal over Hilltown Assault

POLICE in Kilkeel are appealing for information following the report of an assault in the Main Street area of Hilltown in the early hours of Sunday 8th April.

Sometime between midnight and 1.45am two males were set upon by a large crowd in an unprovoked attack. The two males and a female attempting to stop the attack, were repeatedly kicked by the crowd, receiving cuts and bruising.

Anyone with any information about this incident is asked to contact police Kilkeel on 0845 600 8000.

Or, if someone would prefer to provide information without giving their details, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers and speak to them anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Willowstone Music Festival Cancelled This Year

Willowstone takes a year out for 2012

THE Willowstone music festival set in the grounds of Delamont Park near Killyleagh has been put on the back burner this year but will be running again in 2013. Organiser Stuart Campbell said: “I am working as a Programming Officer at the moment which is very exciting but I’m very busy with that as we are due to open the business at MAC in two weeks!

“So I simply don’t have time to do both that and Willowstone this year. However, this year being the 2012 Olympics and the Titanic Centenary along with a number of other summer events are compete with the festival.

“The Land of Giant’s being one of them is set to attract 20,000 people and would be the same weekend as Willowstone, so I’m taking a year off and going to enjoy that as a punter instead! All is still in place for Willowstone 2013 so watch this space.

“Thanks for your continued support,” added Stuart.

Rocks fans don’t despair! Willowstone will return with a vengeance in 2013.

Clarke calls for Concrete Post Removal in Dundrum

NEWCASTLE Alliance Councillor Patrick Clarke is calling on Down District Council to remove concrete agricultural gateposts adjacent to the entrance of the scenic Greenbanks tourist picnic area along Main Street in Dundrum.

Councillor Patrick Clarke in Dundrum

The Greenbanks was extensively upgraded in 2011 with new pathways, picnic area as well as signage and landscaping, and is a popular tourist spot throughout the year. Newcastle Alliance Councillor Patrick Clarke said: “I would like to see Down District Council remove the concrete posts which were put in place originally back in 2010 with a gate to prevent vehicles from entering the grassed area of the Greenbanks.

“The gateposts then remained in place to hold a construction site gate during the redevelopment of the Greenbanks back in 2011, which has now been removed with the exception of the agricultural concrete gateposts.

“I see no purpose in the unsightly posts remaining at the entrance close to Main Street.” “They are out of keeping with the new signage and landscaping. I have now requested that Building and Estates Department action this.”

O’Boyle Condemns Bryansford Vandalism

THE residents of Bryansford woke on Saturday morning to the sight of large flower containers upturned and the contents strewn across their front lawns.

SDLP councillor Carmel O’Boyle and Chair of the recently formed Police and Community Safety Partnership, said: “The PSNI have been alerted to this incident and I have asked them to increase their patrols in Bryansford.

“This antisocial behaviour is unusual for a lovely village like Bryansford, and I know that some residents suspect that this act of wanton vandalism may be the work of visitors to the village.

“We always see an influx of tourists to Newcastle, Dundrum and Bryansford, and many of them stay in local caravan parks. However, while everyone is welcome to our area, it is important that while they are here they respect our property and our way of life. If anyone notices anything untoward, they should report it at once to the PSNI, and I would encourage everyone to remain vigilant throughout the coming summer season.”

Bryansford has over a number of years been entered in the Tidy Villages and Ulster in Bloom competitions and this incident will come as a shock to the local residents who make a huge effort to get their village into pristine shape for the summer.