From the pages of the Down Recorder, August 14, 1979

From the pages of the Down Recorder, August 14, 1979

14 August 2019

DOWNPATRICK — The visit of two cardinals to Downpatrick this week has increased speculation the town could be included in the Pope’s Irish tour next month.

The Pope’s itinerary is expected to be announced today or tomorrow and there has been increasing pressure for him to visit parts of the North.

If there is a visit over the border the most likely place will be Armagh, but Downpatrick’s strong links with St Patrick have always made it a close contender.

The likelihood of the town being included in the tour heightened on Monday when Ireland’s Cardinal Tomas O’Fiach stopped in Downpatrick for a visit with New York Cardinal Terence Cooke.

The two cardinals were accompanied by senior members of staff from the New York archdiocese and although the visit was described as a “personal one” it has sparked off speculation about links with the Pope’s tour.

It is know that arrangements are being made at St Patrick’s Church in the town in the hope that the Pope might come and members of the church choir are to begin rehearsals soon on a special programme of songs for a papal visit.

St Patrick’s choirmaster, Mr Sean Quinn, confirmed yesterday that the choir is being put on standby and he thought that a papal visit could not be discounted.

Dr Joseph Maguire, Parish Priest of Downpatrick, agreed that it would not be out of place for the Pope to visit Dowpatrick if the North was included in the itinerary, but he felt that Armagh might get preference.

“In view of the shortness of time His Holiness might have if he visits the North, it could only be one venue and that could be Armagh,” he said.

CARRYDUFF — Castlereagh Borough Council have turned down an application from Carryduff GAA Club for financial assistance.

Despite a plea the council should take a non-discriminatory attitude towards the club, the application was marked 

read by the council.

Alderman A J Morrow stressed that he had grave reservations about the GAA and in no way supported its constitution, but he felt that the Carryduff club was performing a worthwhile role in the community.

He pointed out that the club was attempting to involve young people in a sport, rather than vandalism.

Cllr P S Crosse supported Mr Morrow’s proposal the council should make a grant of £100 towards the club as a magnanimous and non-discriminatory gesture.

Opposition to the proposal came from Alderman Peter Robinson, who felt that the council would not be representing the views and wishes of the majority of its electorate were it to make a grant.

PORTAFERRY — Lone yachtsman Declan Mackell has stopped in Gibraltar on his single-handed trip around the world.

Declan, who set out from Portaferry at the end of May, has stopped to avoid the hurricane season in the Caribbean which does not end until October.

The lion-hearted sailor has had several narrow scrapes already on his journey, including just avoiding a freighter.

Declan has already completed two stages of his journey in his 32 foot yacht and his route back to Portaferry will include the Canary Islands, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Australia, New Zealand, the Indian Ocean and back home by the Cape of Good Hope.

He is not expected back until 1981 and if he returns he will be the first Ulsterman to sail single-handed around the globe.

Up until his stop Declan has been unable to grab any sleep as he hopped along the European coast. He had said before he left that because this was a busy shipping route he would have to stay alert.

He has already come close to grief on several occasions, especially with the sardine fishing fleet whose boats seldom carry warning lights.

BALLYNAHINCH — The organisers of a tribute show in the Millbrook Lodge Hotel, Ballynahinch, to Newcastle motorcyclist Tom Herron, who died at the North West 200 earlier this year, say they are astounded by the response and it seems likely that it will raise £10,000 for the Tom Herron Appeal Fund.

The show, which was attended by the cream of international motorcycling, was a complete sell-out. The crowd was believed to be in the region of 2,000 and there were just not enough of the £5 tickets available, with many people having to be turned away.

World 500cc champion Kenny Roberts made his first trip to the province to attend the chat show and other stars present included Mike Hailwood, Mick Grant, Ron Haslam, Steve Parrish and Barry Sheene, who got the biggest cheer of the evening.

Leading Irish road racers including Ray McCullough were there. Joey Dunlop was missing because of ‘flu, but the legendary Stanley Woods was in attendance.

ANNALONG — For many years the fishing village of Annalong has been sending its famous smoked herring to Florence in northern Italy. But within the last three years the supply has been declining as a result of enforced conservation measures.

To fill long standing orders placed by the merchants of Florence the Annalong firm of R Cousins & Sons have had to import more than 80 barrels of fish from St John’s in Newfoundland. Next week they will be taking them out of cold storage for the smoking process to begin.

A partner in the firm, Mrs Elizabeth McBride, hopes that the small boats will soon be permitted to operate again.

“Failing that we will have to secure more stocks from Newfoundland,” she said. “The smoked herring season lasts from September to January and by that time we would have hoped to have despatched about 20,000 boxes overland.”

NEWCASTLE — A fete organised under the auspices of the William Keown Appeal Fund, in support of the NI Council for Orthopaedic Development was held in Donard Park, Newcastle, on Saturday and was a resounding success.

Over £1,500 was raised with at least another £500 promised. A vote of thanks was proposed to Sir Thomas Brown, of the Eastern Health and Social Services Board, who opened the fete.

STRANGFORD — The village of Strangford is to hold a Bank Holiday festival starting on Friday, August 24, and continuing to the following Monday.

The organisers and voluntary workers have been labouring diligently over the past weeks arranging an interesting programme and all they now need to make this initial venture a success is good weather.

Events include a spectacular band parade, talent contest, open air disco, fancy dress parade, bonny baby contest, glamorous contest, gymkhana and a Festival Queen dance.

KIRCUBBIN — Permission has been granted for the construction of an outdoor pursuits centre on the shores of Strangford Lough. The centre will be located at Nunsquarter, Kircubbin, and will be built by the Belfast Education and Library Board.

Plans for the centre had been refused by Department of the Environment planning officials, but yesterday the Planning Appeals Commission announced it was overturning the decision.

A commission spokesman said they had decided to allow the scheme because the new centre will concentrate its activities on sailing and its location near an existing sailing club would be suitable.

A spokesman for the Belfast Education and Library Board said they were delighted with the approval.

GOLF — A brilliant record-breaking three under par 67 swept two handicapper Dale Baker to victory at Captain’s Day at Downpatrick Golf Club on Saturday.

The course was in immaculate condition, offering plenty of opportunities for the 240 competitors to shoot low scores. The captain, Mr Kevin Polly, proved to be a perfect host.

GAA — Down’s minor footballers tamely limped out of the All-Ireland title race at Croke Park on Sunday when they succumbed to the superior fitness and ability of a Kerry side by a 1-15 to 0-7 margin.