Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Community group exonerated over further complaints

Last week’s Examiner reported how a community group in Newtownhamilton had criticized the actions of an individual for sending a letter of complaint to Newry Mourne and Down District Council in relation to a voluntary project being run in the town.

The New Town Together Community Group oversees the Men’s Shed project, a scheme organized entirely by volunteers with the aim of promoting wellbeing and improving community life in the area.

The letter writer had alleged the group’s premises did not meet the required standards, which in turn prompted a visit from the Council’s Building Control department.  Following inspection, it emerged everything was in order and committee members publicly criticized the complainant, describing them as a “lowlife begrudger”.

The issue, it seems, did not end there as just days later the group received another unannounced visit, this time from the Council’s health and safety department, whose officials were again acting on complaints received.

Once again, the premises passed inspection, however the repeated complaints have angered the hard working committee who said they are “shocked and disappointed” at actions of those behind the “dirty deeds”.

The chairperson of New Town Community Group, Pete Haughey, confirmed Council health and safety officers had carried out an inspection of the Men’s Shed premises on the back of a complaint received by a member of the public and that they had “no concerns”.

Posting on the group’s Facebook page, the committee said: “We in New Town Together groups have a strong message to the low life who has nothing better to do.  We are determined to continue with the good work we do, including the Men’s Shed, walking group and the community group.  We would describe the person / persons who are doing these dirty deeds to the Men’s Shed as sick individuals who need to stand back and take a long look at their sad lives. With the strong support we have from the community and the good working committee we have, these people will never stop us from doing the good work we have set out to do for our community, and once again we ask these sad people to get a life and get off our backs once and for all. 

“We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank all our supporters and volunteers who have really stood by New Town Together Groups, and to us that’s a great source of strength.”

The news drew an angry reaction from locals who offered encouragement and support to the committee to continue their work to improve their community in spite of the deceitful actions of a few “begrudgers”.

A poem composed by Pauline Hopkin Frazer reflects the community support for the 

New Town Men’s Shed  and the town’s 

Walking Group projects:

“Newtown Men’s Shed is a community group

Where you all work together and walk round the loop;

The spirit is high, the laughter is fun

You should call in to see them and the work they have done.

The wee town of Newtown sure needed them there

The plant pots and benches are all made with care,

So stand by your men from the Newtown Mens Shed

Come on and support them, take heed what I’ve said.

Support to their work, support to the men

Support to the walkers, I give it ten out of ten.”