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Review of 2012

January 8, 2012

Review of 2012

January

A Newry man recently charged with a string of sex offences against children appeared in a child safety advertising campaign shown in public places locally as recently as last summer.  Dennis Lancaster is accused of rape, sexual assault and two counts of sexual activity with a child.  The former boxing coach featured in an advertising video clip published to warn parents about child protection.

A Bessbrook woman charged with wasting police time and perverting the course of justice following an allegation that she made a false rape claim, has had the charges against her dropped.  Natasha Doherty of College Square West in the village, had claimed she was raped by a man in Derramore Woods, in front of her two young children.

A Newry man has been sentenced to serve at least 11 years in prison for kicking to death a Polish man in the city in July 2009.  Adrian Cunningham from Lisgullion Park admitted the murder of Marek Muszynski.

Mrs Angela O’Reilly from Camlough received the Papal Award from Bishop Gerard Clifford for her contribution to Liturgical music within the parish of Lower Killeavy.  Mrs O’Reilly has been involved with music at St. Malachy’s Church, Camlough for over fifty years.

Crossmaglen Rangers star Aaron Cunningham has won the prestigious title of Ulster Club Footballer of the Year in the first ever Gaelic Life Ulster All-Stars of 2011 Awards, as voted by readers.  Other locals also awarded Club All Stars include Culloville goalkeeper Kieran McMahon and Burren duo Kevin McKernan and Donal O’Hare.

Family and friends of Newry businessman, Terry Davey, are horrified that distressing images of the retrieval of his body from the shore at the beach resort in Thailand where he died, have been shown on Thai TV.  Mr Davey, who was on Thailand on business, reportedly drowned close to where his body was found at the Siam Bay Shore Hotel in Pattaya.

Two Derrybeg families were left devastated last week by separate arson attacks which completely destroyed their family cars.  The victims, both active members of Derrybeg’s community, have been left shocked and traumatised by the apparently motiveless attacks.

Charity projects organized by St. Paul’s High School, Bessbrook are set to benefit from the release of a CD and video by a Mullaghbawn teenager and student at the school.  Emily Shields recently recorded a haunting and moving rendition of the famous classical hymn ‘Pie Jesu’ to help boost funds in aid of the school’s International Projects in Romania and Kenya.

The tragic death of Newry businessman, Pat McArdle, on Wednesday as a result of an accident on Fathom Line, has prompted a debate on safety issues on the notorious stretch of road.  Mr McArdle drowned after his car left the road and plunged into the canal.  Emergency services from both sides of the border were involved in the recovery operation.

Politicians and members of the public have described as devastating the news that Crossmaglen Library will have its opening hours slashed by almost ten hours a week.  The reduction represents almost a third of the facility’s operating hours.

February

Local teachers, classroom assistants and politicians have been voicing their concerns at the proposed changes to Special Education provision, as announced recently by Education Minister John O’Dowd.  Parents fear the changes will amount to further cost-cutting measures which will add to the strain already being experienced in the education sector.

A Newry woman implicated in the murder of a Polish man in the city almost three years ago says she became involved out of fear of her accomplice, Adrian Cunningham, who has already been convicted of the crime.  Lindsay White denies the murder of Marek Mateusz who was kicked to death in July 2009.

The cream of Ireland’s traditional Irish music talent came together in a fundraiser in aid of the Children’s Kidney Fund Northern Ireland.  One of the organisers behind the event, 15-year-old Miceal Mullen, is himself a kidney transplantee, having received the organ from his elder brother Edward.

A 13-year-old boy was one of three alleged perpetrators arrested in connection with a spate of robberies in the Ballymoyer Road area of Newtownhamilton.

A public meeting was held in Whitecross to discuss fears among residents about the incendiary nature of the proposed Kingsmill march through the area.  Nationalist politicians rallied behind the community and called for a ban on the planned contentious parade through the predominantly nationalist area.  Organisers eventually cancelled the event following two recent bereavements in the locality.

Health officials confirmed that Newry’s Daisy Hill Hospital is one of three hospitals where the killer bug pseudomonas has been detected in water outlets.  Water tests from Daisy Hill, Craigavon Area and the Erne hospital in Enniskillen were positive.

The family of Glassdrummond man Stephen Mines who was tragically killed in a work accident last year, donated the huge sum of £21,000 to the Mandeville Unit in Craigavon Area Hospital where Stephen had previously received treatment for cancer.  The money was raised through a Grand Country Music Night in December held in Silverbridge Resource Centre.

A female staff member working in the Simon Community building in Newry’s Bridge Street has been praised by the Fire Service after her swift actions helped save the lives of residents of the shelter.

A monument in Crossmaglen town centre, dedicated to those who sacrificed their lives for Irish freedom, is at the centre of a bitter row over an application for European funding.  An application for grant aid submitted to DARD by the Crossmaglen Memorial and Heritage Committee has been deemed totally unacceptable by TUV MLA Jim Allister, who said that if the application was to be successful, it will be “an appalling abuse of rural development and funding”.

An armed robber who threatened a shop worker before stealing cash and cigarettes has been described as ‘the lowest of the low’.   The man, armed with a gun, threatened the member of staff, who was alone in the store on Dromintee Road, Meigh at the time, before making off with the haul.

March

Newry and Mourne has become the latest council to join Facebook as part of its ongoing social media strategy.  The Facebook page will convey all the latest news and information on services and events.

Work to replace the dilapidated GP’s surgery in Meigh with a new purpose-built premises is expected to begin within months.  Resident GP, Dr. Giby, revealed plans are at an advanced stage to commence construction of the new building.

There was widespread outrage when two elderly brothers became the victims of an assault and robbery in their Lurganare Cross home in Newry for the third time.  Jimmy (83) and Paddy (81) Murtagh were targeted by five masked men who broke into their home demanding money.

Representatives from Libraries NI visited Crossmaglen Library to attend a meeting focusing on the library service in the area.  A petition containing more than 3000 signatures, signed by local people wishing to see the service retained at its current level, was handed over to the group.

Crossmaglen captain Stephen Kernan will be banned for the All-Ireland club football final on St Patrick’s Day after his appeal against the red card he picked up in the semi-final win over Dr Crokes was thrown out by Croke Park.

The closure of the Northern Bank in Crossmaglen will have a detrimental effect on the local economy and represents another loss for a rural community already suffering from the withdrawal of key services, local politicians have claimed.

Gardai are investigating a possible link between a car found abandoned in Jonesboro on Thursday and the murder of two men whose bodies were found in a burnt out car in nearby Ravensdale Forest Park the previous night.

A decision by the Parades Commission to allow a loyalist parade featuring up to 40 bands to march through the centre of Armagh on St. Patrick’s Day has been condemned as disastrous and has prompted politicians to question the motive behind the request.

The Church of the Sacred Heart in Lislea is in such a state of disrepair that without necessary renovations is poses a serious risk of falling down, Fr. Bobby McKenna has said.  How to finance the overhaul and repairs to four other churches in the Lower Killeavy parish was discussed at a meeting held in St. Paul’s School on Wednesday.

Just five days after capturing their first BT MacLarnon Cup, St. Paul’s High School won their way through to the All-Ireland final with a 1-11 to 2-4 win over St. Colman’s, Fermoy.

Newry woman Lindsay White (23) has been convicted of the brutal murder of a Polish man in the city in July 2009.  White was sentenced to 14 years in jail.

The Examiner celebrated the publication of its 1000th issue with a competition prize of £500 up for grabs, which was won by Culloville man, Oggie Murray.

April

In a day of unprecedented sporting success, the small enclave of south Armagh celebrated the acquisition of not one but three All-Ireland titles in the space of just a few hours on Saturday.  Crossmaglen Rangers GFC saw off the challenge of Westmeath side Garrycastle in the All-Ireland Club Final replay in Cavan.

Ahead of this, the footballers from St. Paul’s High School, Bessbrook overcame Ardscoil Ris, Dublin to claim the All-Ireland Senior B Colleges Final crown.  And in a lesser-known but no less significant victory, Camlough teenager Oisin O’Callaghan won the Under 15 800m title at the National Indoor Athletics championships in Tipperary.

Camlough mountain burned into the night on Wednesday as a sweeping gorse fire ravaged acres of idyllic mountainside.

Workers at the Vodafone Call Centre in Dundalk received a massive blow with the news that all jobs at the site are to be relocated to Teleperformance in Newry.

Creggan photographer Judy Boyle triumphed in an international competition bringing home a bronze medal from the prestigious International World Championships of monochrome photography.

Bodhran drummers from the Ring of Gullion Comhaltas were invited to accompany world famous drummer and percussionist Mark Wilson as part of a BBC concert celebrating the 100th anniversary of the Titanic.

Residents in Newry suffered a weekend of disruption when an abandoned bomb, followed hours later by a hoax bomb alert, closed roads and forced the evacuation of more than twenty families from their homes.

Aidan O’Rourke’s weekly quiz in the Canal Court Hotel, Newry has raised the magnificent sum of £350,000 for local charities, since its inception six years ago.

A young mother and her four year old son were left traumatised and shocked when she encountered an intruder in her Chequer Court home in the early hours of the  morning.

Killeavy ace and star forward, Steven McDonnell announces his decision to retire from inter-county football after  13 years of service to Armagh county.

Crossmaglen woman Brenda Rushe expressed her delight at  being selected to appear on the RTE game show Winning Streak.  Brenda was joined by Newry woman Ann Marie Fitzmaurice and the pair won 44,400 euro and 51,900 euro respectively.

The family of missing Newry man Seamus Ruddy have renewed their call for people to come forward with information which may help them find the former school teacher who went missing in France in 1985.

Armagh goalkeeper Paul Hearty, after 12 year’s service to Armagh, has called time on his inter-county career.

Following months of restoration work, Creggan Church of Ireland welcomed the return of its congregation on Sunday to a special service of re-dedication.

May

Councillors and residents have united in their condemnation of the treatment of an elderly female resident of Barcroft Park when five armoured police vehicles were used to arrest the pensioner in what was described as ‘a very over the top approach’ to arrest an old lady.

A 600lb viable device abandoned in a van on the Fathom Line area of Newry had the potential to kill or cause serious injury, according to police.    The device consisted of two barrels placed in the back of a vehicle, each containing 125kg of homemade explosives and a detonator.

Sharon Gregory and Alannah McEntaggart, representing the Upper Creggan Lourdes Committee 1963, successfully completed an abseil on Belfast’s Europa Hotel raising almost £500 which will benefit sick pilgrims travelling to Lourdes in June.

Crossmaglen couple Hughie and Rose Carragher received their 40 year Lourdes medal from Fr. Joe McKeever.

The cost of removing toxic waste from illegal fuel laundering dumped on local roads has cost ratepayers almost £35,000 in the last month, Newry and Mourne Council has revealed.  Five such incidents were reported in a single day.  These were discovered at roadsides in Mullaghbawn, Forkhill and Dromintee.

Silverbridge native, Kate Murphy Maloney, who now resides in Orange County, New York, was recently awarded the prestigious title of Vice President of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians (LAOH).

A ‘Hope for Andrew’ fundraising appeal is launched, aimed at raising £30,000 to send 11-year-old M.E. sufferer, Andrew McGorrian McMurdie, to Hawaii for life-enhancing treatment.

A total of £10,350 was handed over to Southern Area Hospice Services by organisers of a 20-year reunion of former customs agents, hauliers and truck drivers.

Newtownhamilton teenager, Daryl  Johnston (14) has been included in the Northern Ireland squad for a series of soccer matches to be held throughout Europe.

Representatives from two local businesses, the Cross Square Hotel, Crossmaglen and Matthews Coaches, Inniskeen, joined forces to showcase the south Armagh area to eager American tourists during a self-funded venture to New York.

60 years of Comhaltas was celebrated with the handing over of £12,641.26 to the Children’s Kidney Charity Fund, raised through a series of a fundraising concerts organized by Comhaltas branches throughout the county.

A financial gaffe by Newry and Mourne Council could end up costing rate payers £100,000 after it emerged that a payment of £44,000 in relation to a council facility site in Crossmaglen was paid out to a company which later went into administration.

Police responding to a bomb alert on the Camlough Road in Newry were attacked by gangs throwing petrol bombs, bricks and stones.

The news that hundreds of new jobs are in the pipeline for Newry,  with the construction of a significant new development at Greenbank, is being heralded as a much needed boost for the city.

Minister Caral Ni Chuilin officially opened the new library facility in Newry following extensive refurbishment spanning four months and costing £318,000.

Crossmaglen florist Siobhan Hughes celebrated success at the recent Chelsea Flower Show, scooping bronze in the prestigious Young Florist of the Year competition.

June

Hundreds turn out to participate in a fundraising walk/run to aid the recovery of young Zoe Fearon from Camlough who became suddenly ill recently.  Nine year old Zoe had been receiving treatment in the intensive care unit of the Royal Belfast Children’s Hospital and Daisy Hill Hospital, Newry.

Olympic Torch celebrations begin in the district with a special concert in Pairc Esler to welcome the flame.  Silverbridge teenager and world champion kick boxer, Ryan Walsh, will have the once in a lifetime honour of helping keep the Olympic Flame alive as it makes its way through the country, while Laura Quinn from Dorsey and Adam Gonnelly from Crossmaglen will carry the flame on its journey through Newry.  Ryan Cinnamond will have the honour of torching the flame at the celebratory concert.

SDLP Councillor John McArdle is selected as the district’s new incoming Mayor.  Sinn Fein’s Packie McDonald is to be Deputy Mayor.

Staff and pupils at St. Joseph’s High School, Crossmaglen are celebrating after the school was placed in the top ten non-grammar schools where pupils achieved the best GCSE results.

Newry and Armagh MLA, Conor Murphy, has announced his intention to stand down from the Assembly as part of Sinn Fein’s party policy to end double jobbing.

The woman convicted of the brutal murder of Newry pensioner Maire Rankin received more than £218,000 from the public purse to fund her defence, it has been revealed.

All Ireland senior football club champions, Crossmaglen Rangers staged their own style of celebration by performing the Poznan-style celebratory dance during a reception at Stormont on Wednesday to mark their achievement in winning this year’s final on St. Patrick’s Day.

Work gets underway on the new household recycling facility planned for Crossmaglen.

Bessbrook police station is to close later this month with policing resources covering the south Armagh area  being centralized in Newtownhamilton.

18-year-old Sionan Murphy from Creggan is celebrating her latest musical achievement having scooped first place in the Carrick’s Got Talent competition held as part of the Carrickmacross Festival.

The inaugural Newry Film Festival was launched on Thursday and will bring the best of classic, contemporary and up and coming talent to the city.

A group of sixth form pupils from St. Joseph’s High School, Crossmaglen successfully completed the President’s Award Programme at silver level and were rewarded with silver medals and certificates conferred by former Irish President Mary McAleese.

The loss of almost thirty jobs with the sudden closure of the Quinn’s Superstore premises in Crossmaglen on Friday has been described as regrettable and unavoidable by the Administrators for the company.

The Camlough Road roundabout was the scene of a tragic accident on Friday morning when a man died after being struck by a lorry during busy rush-hour morning traffic.

A new state of the art adventure playpark opened in Slieve Gullion Courtyard on Monday has been lauded as an essential ingredient for tourism in the area.

July

Armagh manager Paddy O’Rourke calls time on his career at the helm of the Orchard County, after his three year term ended.

The Newry jobs market is to receive a much needed boost with the announcement that Teleperformance UK, part of the global Teleperformance group, is to recruit over four hundred new staff to join its growing workforce in Northern Ireland.

Shock and sadness reverberated throughout the area last week at the death of young Glenanne farmer, Graeme Kilpatrick, in a tragic farm accident.

Dromintee native, Megan Fearon, is set to become the youngest member of the Assembly as she takes up the role of MLA for Newry and Armagh, recently relinquished by Conor Murphy.

Six year old Jack Crummie from Crossmaglen has been rewarded for his bravery after he saved his sister Cara (4) from drowning in a hotel swimming pool while the family was on holiday in Lanzarote.

The Abbey Grammar School in Newry has become the first grammar in the area to support plans by the Catholic Church to phase out academic selection.  The school aims to reduce intake under academic selection to 75% of pupils by 2014.

Three Newry primary schools are to receive millions of pounds to fund their long-awaited new builds.  St. Clare’s Convent and the Abbey Primary are set to merge and share a brand new £6 million building while St. Joseph’s Convent will also get a much needed new school.

Dumping of diesel waste in Lough Ross, Crossmaglen poses a serious health risk and is a criminal attack on the community, Councillor Terry Hearty said.

A heightened spate of robberies across the south Armagh area recently has angered and concerned local residents and prompted criticism of the police response to the thefts.

Newry pensioner Jimmy Markey has proved that age is no barrier to chasing academic dreams by earning a prestigious degree through his local college.   Mr Markey (72) from Monaghan Row became a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Humanities when his degree was conferred by the University of Ulster.

The delay by the Department of Health in delivering a new ambulance service in south Armagh has been described as totally unacceptable by the area’s MP, Conor Murphy.

Work is due to commence on the new Slieve Gullion Pathway, aimed at repairing existing pathway conditions and halting the erosion of the mountain.

Primary 3 pupils from St. Joseph’s PS, Bessbrook, Keelan Downey, has been awarded the Buttercrane Pupil of the Year 2012 prize.

Ulster Bank customers face continuing misery as the unprecedented crisis rumbles into its third week.  The breakdown at the bank, blamed on software failure, is at a scale never before seen in global banking.

A 12 year old girl was rushed to hospital in a critical condition on Sunday afternoon after a collision involving a van on Finnegan’s Road in Jonesboro.  The child was reportedly walking her dog when she was struck by the vehicle.

August

A blaze which ripped through a clothes recycling plant on the Newtown Road in Cloughogue on Thursday night was reported to be one of the biggest fires tackled by NIFRS for many years.  At its peak, the inferno was tackled by more than one hundred fire-fighters and 23 fire engines.

The deliberate burning of a lorry loaded with cubes of fuel laundering waste on the Castleblayney Road in Newtownhamilton has been slammed by the local community.  Residents are angry that the trailer had been dumped there almost four weeks before the arson attack on Thursday morning.

A couple hill-walking on Camlough mountain were robbed by two men, one of whom was carrying a suspected firearm.  The couple were forced to hand over the keys of their car and mobile phones.  The robbers made off in the stolen car.

More than £6000 was donated to Cancer Research following a successful 12-hour fundraising walk held at Silverbridge walking track.

Slieve Gullion was transformed into a magical dragon inhabited landscape over the weekend for the long awaited Dragon Safari.   Families came from far and wide to take part in the mile long trek through the enchanted forest in search of weird and wonderful dragon sightings.

A new Guinness World Record was set for the longest distance relay run of 2,680 miles when more than 275 local runners took part in the event covering 24 hours a day, from Saturday 21st July to Wednesday 8th August.

The future of Newry City Football Club looks very uncertain after a winding up order against the club was granted.

A family from Drumalane Park in Newry escaped serious injury in a drive-by shooting when a single shot shattered the front window of their home.

The long-awaited redevelopment of the site of the former army barracks in Forkhill is finally underway.  The project includes plans for social housing, business units, childcare facilities and an all-weather pitch.

There was widespread disgust at an arson attack at the newly opened Slieve Gullion Adventure Playpark.  Portable toilet facilities were burnt beyond repair and a disabled toilet block was completely destroyed in the attack.

The ‘Save Bell’s Castle’ campaign gathered pace with a meeting attended by members of the local community and political representatives supporting the project.  The meeting was called to discuss the potential of restoring the beautiful 19th century castle in Killeavy.

There is heightened concern in Newry and Mourne District Council amid claims Council Enforcement officers have been threatened while carrying out their duties. Mayor John McArdle called on the Republican Network for Unity to withdraw its alleged threat.

A new High Dependency Unit at Daisy Hill Hospital will feature the use of a robot, allowing intensive care specialists from Craigavon Area Hospital to remotely access acutely ill patients.

Newry man Kevin Carville has been selected as a ‘Games Maker’ at the London 2012 Paralympic Games.   Kevin, from Dromalane, is one of 240,000 applicants who applied for volunteer positions at the Games.

September

Three illegal fuel laundering plants have been dismantled in Crossmaglen.  Customs and police uncovered the three separate plants during raids on a number of agricultural and private premises last Wednesday and Thursday.

News that Crossmaglen’s Community Centre is set to benefit from significant investment has been warmly welcomed across the district.

Detectives investigating the disappearance of Newry teenager, Caroline Graham, have announced the case is now being treated as murder.  18 year old Caroline went missing in April 1989 and had been living in Portadown for almost two years before her disappearance.

The SDLP announced plans to establish a branch of the party in Perth, Australia.

The controversy over the appointment of enforcement officers from a private security company by Newry and Mourne District Council gathers momentum following the publication of an open letter signed by five trade unions, outlining grave concerns at the potential impact on Council employees.

Residents breathed a collective sigh of relief as the site of the former VanStar Meats Factory on the Millvale road, Bessbrook was cleared with the derelict building demolished to make way for a proposed housing development.

Raglan, a unique folk/classical band, whose five members are from the local area, launches its debut album on Friday.

Daisy Hill Hospital opened its doors to its new Outpatients Department during a visit by Health Minister Edwin Poots.

A man was left with life-threatening injuries after he was stabbed during an altercation in the early hours of Sunday morning in Bessbrook.  A 34 year old man was arrested a short time later in connection with the attack.

William Dundon, a member of the Traveller Community from Newry, has been awarded runner up in the prestigious Young Musician/Singer of the Bann competition.  The talented accordion player faced stiff competition among a field of world class musicians.

Work on building a mountain trail on Slieve Gullion received a helping hand with the drafting in of Irish helicopters to lift tonne bags of material to the upper areas of the mountain.

Families of the Kingsmills victims travelled to Dublin to meet with Taoiseach Enda Kenny, seeking an apology for what they termed ‘the blatant inaction’ of the Irish government over the 1976 killings.

The Ring of Gullion Comhaltas summer programme finished on a high with a special tribute night to founder member, Mick Quinn, current President of the branch.

Local café and takeaway, Superbites, received the impressive accolade of being recognized as one of the top five fish and chip shops in Northern Ireland.

Newry City centre is set to undergo a major facelift with a £300k revitalization scheme for the newly completed public realm areas in Hill Street and Monaghan Street.

Pupils and staff from Dromintee Primary School were joined by special guests to celebrate the official opening of their new school premises.

October

The armed robbery of a Brinks security van outside B&Q on Friday morning resulted in a high speed chase across the border, sparking a man-hunt involving Gardai from Louth, Meath and Cavan.

Keady’s new community centre, the construction of which is to begin in January, is to be named the Tommy Makem Community and Arts Centre.

Armagh Ladies lifted the All-Ireland Intermediate trophy overcoming Waterford on a scoreline of 1-12 to 1-5.

A cross-border collaboration between Gardai and PSNI resulted in the successful recovery of a stolen dumper and lorry in Crossmaglen in the early hours of Sunday.  A spotter plane was enlisted to help search for the vehicles stolen from Monaghan Plant Hire.

Well known Irish song, music and dance enthusiast Raymond Lonergan from Ayallogue Road, Meigh was given a special surprise on Friday when he was presented with the Tommy Makem Scroll of Honour at the annual festival in the Armagh City Hotel.

Historic Killeavy Castle and estate has been placed on the market for sale with a price tag of £1million.  The 200 year old castle has been the focus of a recent restoration campaign spearheaded by art student, Deaglan Mulgrew.

Rev. Sandra Pragnell holds her final service as Church of Ireland Rector for the Dundalk Group of parishes before moving to Limerick later this month.  Her cross-border parochial group includes Creggan Parish church.

The punishment-style shooting of a man in Ardcarne Park, Newry promoted widespread political condemnation.  The victim was shot in both ankles shortly before 8pm on Monday.

Planning permission for a new bridge at Narrow Water has been granted.  The multi million pound investment will see a single carriageway cable-style bridge span the Newry river, linking counties Down and Louth.

Dermot Mathers was honoured by Newry and Mourne Council in recognition of his achievement in breaking the world record for distance treadmill run.

A Polish student at St. Colman’s College, Newry achieved top grades in Irish in Northern Ireland.  Mateusz Jadczak moved here from Poland when he was nine years old.  His amazing achievement was honoured at a reception in the school attended by the Polish Consul Jerome Mullan, Mayor John McArdle, teachers and his family.

Cullyhanna teenager Conall McCavitt captured both singles and doubles Under 17 One Wall World Handball titles in Dublin last week.  The St. Paul’s HS student was honoured for his amazing achievement at a reception in Cullyhanna clubrooms.

The Historical Enquiries Team (HET) is to investigate the brutal murder of 13 year old Newry boy, Kevin Heatley, who was shot dead by the British army in February 1973.

November

Rainbow Communications Armagh is announced as the county’s new jersey sponsor, replacing Morgan Fuels.

A distraught resident of Lismore, Crossmaglen has spoken of his fears and frustrations at what he claims is an on-going campaign of anti-social behaviour at the hands of nearby residents.  On Friday Noel Kelly’s car was rammed by another vehicle and forced into a newly-built wall, erected to protect his property.

South Armagh’s annual Halloween Festival reached new heights as a series of events and attractions saw thousands of revelers descend on Crossmaglen.

A Newry couple who claim they are the victims of an on-going campaign of harassment and assault by the PSNI, were at the centre of a heavy-handed policing incident which prompted Councillor Michael Ruane to speak out at the unjustified level of force used by police against them.

A number of events are being organized to celebrate the 150th anniversary of St. Mary’s Church in Mullaghbawn, the highlight of which will be a special Thanksgiving Mass.

Police have arrested two men in connection with a huge blaze which tore through coal storage sheds in Newry’s Albert Basin on Friday night.  Three fire engines tackled the fire which broke out around 10pm.

A van fitted with a hydraulic ejector pad, dubbed ‘James Bond-style’ by Customs officials, was discovered in Crossmaglen and is believed to have been used in process of illegal fuel laundering.

Staff at Slieve Gullion Credit Union in Forkhill endured a terrifying ordeal on Friday evening when a three-man gang armed with axes and a handgun entered the premises and forced workers to hand over a sum of money.

The Derrybeg community received the welcome news that funding is to be provided for a new community building for the area. £190,000 has been earmarked by DRD through its Neighbourhood Renewal Investment Fund, for the project.

St. Patrick’s Primary School in Cullyhanna celebrated its 40th birthday with a special Mass.  The school opened in September 1972 following the amalgamation of Cregganduff Primary School, Dorsey School and Cullyhanna Primary School.

The Ring of Gullion Harvest and Vintage Committee held its annual presentation night where a total of £24,500 was presented to eleven different charities.

Carrickcruppen’s Caroline O’Hanlon created history on Saturday night when she became the first ever Armagh representative to claim a second ladies All-Star and also lifted Intermediate football’s top player prize at the glittering awards banquet.

Road Safety Authority figures indicating that there have been no road deaths in Newry and Mourne this year, compared to 22 lives that were lost last year, have been welcomed.

More than 500 Gaels packed into the Carrickdale hotel to celebrate 125 years since the foundation of the first GAA club in Dromintee parish.  Dignitaries including famed presenter Micheal O’Muircheartaigh and Ulster Council President Aoghan O’Fearail joined club executives and members at the event.

December

Crossmaglen Rangers over came Down side Kilcoo to claim their 10th Ulster senior football title.  The win was marred when Rangers footballer Aaron Cunningham became the victim of racial abuse from opposing players and supporters.

Treacherous road conditions have been blamed for a crash which claimed the life of a Jonesboro man travelling on the Old Dublin Road in Newry on Wednesday morning.

Police appealed for information after a memorial to the victims of the Kingsmill Massacre was targeted in an incident of criminal damage.  Sectarian graffiti was scratched into the plaster on the walls of the memorial.

Newry spokesman for Republican group Eirigi, Stephen Murney, was arrested and remanded into custody by police investigating dissident activity.  Photographs of police raids, along with band uniforms are believed to form a significant part of the charges against Murney.

The first sod has been cut at the site of a new £1million Newry Youth Resource Centre.  The venture will provide shared space and a neutral environment for young people of the area.

Armed robbers targeted Forkhill Credit Union for the second time in as many weeks.  Despite increased security since the previous attack, two men managed to enter the premises and forced staff to hand over a sum of cash.

Hundreds of Santas crammed onto the streets of Crossmaglen to take part in the town’s annual Santa Run for charity.

The outstanding contribution to voluntary work of Silverbridge pensioner, Sabina Reel, to her community was recognized and rewarded by the Southern Health and Social Care Trust in its 2012 Excellence Awards.  Sabina was presented with the joint first prize, along with St. Paul’s High School, Bessbrook.

16-year-old Eileen Muckian from Silverbridge was recently invited to perform live on BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘Sounds Classical’ programme.  Eileen performed a violin solo ‘Czardas’ by Monti and also sang ‘Bird’s Song at Eventide’ by Eric Coates.

A toxic gas leak from a ship docked in Warrenpoint Harbour led to a large scale emergency operation in the seaside town on Wednesday morning.

The new Household Recycling Centre in Crossmaglen opened to the public.  The Centre is equipped with state of the art compactors and open top containers and will focus on the recycling of household material.

A local press photographer and his family are recovering from a terrifying ordeal following the discovery of a pipe bomb at their Mayobridge home.  Mark Pearce and his family were awakened by police acting on a tip-off who led them to safety.  Army bomb disposal experts dealt with the device while a number of properties nearby were evacuated.

The planned construction of a new community Peace Centre in Camlough suffered a setback after an application for European funding was recently rejected.

Two men were arrested after police stopped a vehicle on the Dundalk road in Crossmaglen in connection with a counterfeit cash scheme.

A Mullaghbawn man , now living in Queens, New York, has been lauded for his support for victims of Hurricane Sandy.  Mickey McCreesh is one of a number of south Armagh men who are providing vital assistance to people who have lost everything.

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