From the pages of the Down Recorder, July 12, 1977

From the pages of the Down Recorder, July 12, 1977

12 July 2017

DOWNPATRICK — The first tentative steps towards the establishment of a new one-day street market in Downpatrick got underway this week.

An application for a site at the entrance to the Market Street car park has been lodged with the Planning Department of Down District Council.

However, although the council have been considering the settling up ofd a Downpatrick market for some time, the project is still very much in its initial stages.

As well as the verdict of the planners, the council are also waiting for approval from the Department of Commerce, who own the ground in the car park.

And even if those two bodies approve the scheme, the council working party which is handling the project will have to consider any objections from the traders of Downpatrick.

At the moment the council plans are for a small ‘experimental’ market of about seven or eight stalls. If this is a success then it could eventually be expanded into something like the highly successful Ballynahinch market.

A leading Downpatrick businessman has lashed the proposal as being the “height of folly.” Mr Brendan Rodgers, owner of the Supreme Stores in Market Street, said he was “violently opposed to the idea.”

“If the market harms the local traders then their employees will be the first to suffer,” he warned. “Already shops in Antrim have had to lay off employees because of the harm caused by the market up there. I’m not saying that will happen here, but it is possible on a smaller scale. If it does go ahead then it will have to be very tightly controlled.”

STRANGFORD — Any plan to use Strangford Lough as a generating plant for hydro-electricity would not make sense, according to one of Northern Ireland’s top engineers.

Mr McIlwaine, assistant chief engineer of the Northern Ireland Electricity Service, said it would cost two-and-a-half times as much to provide hydro-electricity from Strangford Lough as it does from conventional means at the moment.

Mr McIlwaine agreed that, to the layman, Strangford Lough seemed ideal for generating hydro-electricity. “Certainly it looks very powerful, but when we get down to hard economics and the cost of investment the answer is not a good one,” he remarked.

The use of Strangford Lough as a hydro-electricity generator has also been condemned by Mr J D Kirk, Road Services Divisional Roads Manager. “As far as the Roads Service and environmentalists are concerned, a barrage across Strangford Lough is a dead duck,” he told the Recorder.

BALLYNAHINCH — The former Ballynahinch man, Mr William McIlroy, is to resign his post as secretary of the controversial National Secular Society.

Ih his farewell speech to the society — which is dedicated to defeating Christianity — Mr McIlroy made a final blistering attack on “religious superstition and privilege.” Speaking in London, he condemned the “harmful influence of religion” in the world today.

“Imported religious sects have wrecked the lives of hundreds of young people and their families,” he said. “Liberal social reforms which were achieved a decade ago are now under attack by the churches and their front organisations.

“Moral re-armers who had been redundant since the end of the war are now operating through the sex-obsessed groups which have proliferated in recent times.”

Mr McIlroy referred particularly to Northern Ireland: “The outrages which have occurred in Northern Ireland have demonstrated yet again that Christianity remains a socially divisive and reactionary force. The commencement of peace meetings with Christian hymns and prayers must surely be one of the greatest obscenities in our times.”

Mr McIlroy is a native of Ballynahinch who now lives in London. He has been general secretary of the National Secular Society for 14 years.

NEWCASTLE — Holiday-makers to Newcastle this summer will spend £9 million-plus on enjoying the town’s many facilities.

Tourism is big business in Newcastle where during the July fortnight alone nearly 25,000 visitors will flood into the town ready to spend their money.

To cope with this influx of visitors there are 500 beds available within a ten-mile radius of the town and bookings of these are already up on last year.

The Heart of Down Accommodation, originally the idea of Down District Council’s tourist and recreation assistant officer, Raymond Creighton, has done much to help find room for the many visitors.

CASTLEWELLAN — For traditional music fans the highlight of Castlewellan Festival next week will undoubtedly by the Fleadh Ceoil, which will take place on Saturday.

This is only the second year in which Co Down has organised a county fleadh, but it means that for the first time each of the Six Counties will have a chance of sending county representatives forward to the Ulster Provincial fleadh..

Last year’s Down fleadh was also held in Castlewellan to coincide with the festival, but the organisation was not as smooth as it might have been due to the fact that the venue had to be changed from Warrenpoint at a week’s notice.

DUNDRUM — All the fun of the fair and a wide variety of entertainment is on offer at Dundrum this Saturday. A bumper garden fete, organised by the Dundrum Sports Association, is being held in the grounds of the castle.

The association are presently trying to raise money for new sports facilities in the village. A target of £5,000 has been set and already £3,000 has been gathered. The organisers are hoping the fete will leave them a lot closer to their objective.

KILKEEL — The Department of Agriculture is to make funds available for the dredging of the entrance to Kilkeel harbour where a sandbank has been building up.

Mr Enoch Powell, the MP for South Down, said the contract will be put out right away. Mr Powell said the move was the direct result of  series of meetings he has had with Kilkeel fishermen and with the Northern Ireland Sea Fisheries Association.

SEAFORDE — Mr William Keown, from Dundrum, is to organise a garden fete in Seaforde next month to raise money for the Northern Ireland Orthopaedic Council.

The fete on August 20 will be opened by Miss G M Morris, who has recently retired as organiser of the various orthopaedic clinics throughout the province. Proceeds will go to Mr Keown’s own appeal fund.

Mr Keown launched the appeal fund to raise money for the Orthopaedic Council after he came second in the Great Britain Spastic Achievement Awards.

PORTAFERRY — Portaferry Camera Club’s five-day exhibition will begin on Monday in the Market House. There will be picture slides of activities such as boat building, clock-making, sheepskin rug making, shoeing horse dulce collecting and putting miniature ships in bottles.

The club also have slides of the Ards Tourist Trophy races which were held between 1928 and 1936. The event’s golden jubilee will be marked next year by a vintage car rally over the Ards circuit.

SOCCER — Kilmore Rec Football Club held their annual dinner dance in the Millbrook Lodge Hotel, Ballynahinch. The highlight was the presentation of the individual trophies to the winners.

Mel McCarthy won the top goalscorer trophy and shared runner-up in the first team player of the year with full back Leo Casement. Player of the year was captain Noel McCarthy, while goalkeeper Kevin Bell won the young player of the year award.

The second team player of the year was Barney Donnelly, whole goalkeeper Gordon Stranney was runner-up. Trevor Lennon was the second team’s top scorer.