Archive for the 'Supporting Minorities / Human Rights' Category

SKATE BOARDERS and BMX’ERS looking for a home in Downpatrick

Attached is a photograph of Cllr Cadogan Enright with the leaders of Downe Urban Sports Association  Matthew Kennedy front and Kris Burke centre at the Saint Patricks Centre.

Attached is a photograph of Cllr Cadogan Enright with the leaders of Downe Urban Sports Association Matthew Kennedy front and Kris Burke centre at the Saint Patricks Centre.

Independent Downpatrick Councilor Cadogan Enright has helped local young people involved in ‘Urban Sports’set up a club and seek funding for a Downpatrick-based based facility for sports like BMX or Skateboarding.

Councillor Enright said “I  met with a large number of young people at the Saint Patricks Centre on 2 occasions last week to help set them set up a formal sports organization. We discovered from Sports N.I. that there were dozens of Urban Sports clubs across the country but no National umbrella organization. Councils have been building facilities for these sports North and South with the latest one being built by Wicklow County Council. I and have requested a meeting with Down Councils Sports and Leisure managers to see if they can be accommodated in the new Leisure centre.”

“There is a big crowd of BMXers and Skateboarders from all the villages in Down District who want a venue in Downpatrick for their sports – maybe in Dunleath Park. These athletic young people use areas around Downpatrick at the moment like St Patricks Square/ St Patricks Centre which has drawn complaints from some quarters. They are entitled to practice their sports and need somewhere they can go to do it safely and with Council approval.“

Cllr Enright chaired a meeting that had been organized on Facebook, where they ratified a constitution, elected a committee and applied for membership of ‘Sported’ to train them how to apply for grants.

At the inaugural meeting Kris Burke from Ardglass was voted in as Chairperson. Kris said “Many of our members travel into Downpatrick from Killough, Newcastle, Ardglass and other areas to meet and compete with each other at the moment around Downpatrick town centre. We want to see if Down Council can set up with a location that would suit better than the likes of Saint Patricks Square, so that we can encourage a wider participation in these sports.  Ideally a venue near the bus station like Dunleath Park would suit.”

Matthew Kennedy agreed and said “The whole complex in Dunleath Park is being rebuilt at the moment. There must be somewhere our sports can be fitted in in this huge development. There appear to be several areas of derelict land on the site. We want Council management to meet with us to discuss this and to help us apply for funding to Sport NI and the lotto-run ‘Awards for All’”.

 

MALONE PENSIONERS SEEK ACCESS TO TOWN BUS SERVICE

At a meeting in Malone Heights between Translink management and local residents last week organised by Independent Councillor Cadogan Enright, pensioners explained to Translink why they needed access to the Town Bus network.

Malone Residents Committee, Anne Monkhouse standing with Cllr Cadogan centre and residents spokesperson Cormac Wylie on the right

Malone Residents Committee, Anne Monkhouse standing with Cllr Cadogan centre and residents spokesperson Cormac Wylie on the right

Spokesperson Cormac Wylie said “We have many elderly or incapacitated people in Malone, most of whom have bus passes. Malone has the steepest, longest, uphill walk in Downpatrick that is hard even for fit people to go up. Access to the Town Bus means we can access the bus station, ASDA, the Cinema, hospital and doctors surgeries from our front doors.

Councillor Enright said, “In response to Translink concerns about ‘Health and Safety’ and their worry about there being no turning circle in Malone, residents noted that bin lorries, oil tankers and delivery trucks all manage to turn without danger and that the pavements and roads are quite generous in Malone. There are at least 2 safe locations for the Town Bus to turn. This is not a full size bus, so we feel that Translink worries about ‘health and safety’ are overblown.”

Resident Anne Monkhouse provided a petition from the Malone Way end of the area, and other roads are being canvassed at this time with a petition and a survey to see how many other residents would be interested in accessing the service.

Translink undertook to see if they could identify a safe area to turn on the estate, and to check if including Malone could be included in the current services without disruption to the timetable.

Councillor Enright advised any residents who have not seen the survey form to contact Anne Monkhouse or Cormac Wylie as Translink also have to justify the service in terms of number of potential customers.

ARDGLASS AND KILLOUGH IRISH SPEAKERS PRAISE LOCAL UNIONIST POLITICIAN

A successful conclusion has been brought to the campaign to overturn the refusal by the South Eastern Education and Library Board (SEELB) to allow Irish speaking children to utilise the ‘yellow bus network’ from villages around Lecale to primary school (‘bunscoil’) in Downpatrick. The campaign was organised on behalf of parents in Ardglass and Killough by Independent Councillor Cadogan Enright and supported by NI21 MLA John McCallister.

Cllr Cadogan Enright with MLA John McCallister with Ardglass and Killough parents

Cllr Cadogan Enright with MLA John McCallister with Ardglass and Killough parents

At a celebratory meeting of parents at Killough’s Millfield park Naíoscoil (Irish speaking preschool), Cllr Cadogan Enright praised the role played by MLA John McCallister, saying “The last time I took a similar case for children in Ballyhornan and Downpatrick it took 7 years and a High Court case to resolve the matter. Thanks to efficient pro-active and intelligent campaigning work by John McCallister and his Newcastle office staff we were able to win this case in a record 4 months. Time is of the essence to parents with 4 and 5 year old children who need a safe and reliable transport system today, and not years down the line”.

Naíoscoil leader Maggie McKendry said “Great credit has to go to Councillor Enright for his organisation of this campaign, and especially to MLA John McCallister who sponsored 2 Ombudsman cases, mobilised the Childrens and Human Rights Commissioners and highlighted the case under the race relations act. All this was done in an incredibly short space of time.”

John McCallister said “It was clear to me from the outset that this was a simple matter of equality. Furthermore it is ‘best practice’ for schools to share facilities. Cllr Enright had confirmed with Downpatrick Primary that they had no issues with sharing transport with Downpatrick’s Bunscoil. As a Northern Irish Unionist I value our shared culture and heritage, and I am aware that it was fellow Presbyterians in Belfast who succeeded in preserving the Irish Language in Ulster 200 years ago, so we can still celebrate its usage today. The Irish language is for us all, not just one community.”

Cllr Enright agreed and thanked Downpatrick Primary for their support and said “This campaign demonstrates the excellent cross-community spirit that pervades this district, where people from different backgrounds and outlooks rally round for the benefit of all and defy those would have us at odds with each other. This is a victory for the whole community”.

CONEY ISLAND RESIDENTS PROTEST

Coney Island residents write in protesting over lack of flood protection and support Cllr Cadogan Enrights complaints in this issue

RUGBY CLUB SUPPORTS THE DOWNE A and E

Ballynahinch Rugby Club invited Councillor Enright to set up a stand at the club last Saturday to collect signatures of the Downe 24-hour accident and emergency campaign. Club members also assisted in manning the table and announcements were made drawing spectators attention to the campaign.

Rugby Club gathers signatures for the Down accident and emergency

Cllr Enright works with Rugby Club to gather signatures for the Down accident and emergency

Club members expressed anger and frustration that Down sports clubs were being denied such an essential facility at weekends. Ballynahinch RFC is Down Districts premier Rugby Club and fields 7 Adult teams, 4 Youth teams and 220 Mini Rugby players every weekend. This is more than any other club in Ireland. Ballynahinch is also the only Ulster club to achieve representation in top division of the Ulster Bank All-Ireland league.

Honorary Secretary Richard Hart said “Local sportspeople need the reassurance of accidents and emergency being opened at weekend, this club has regular need of A&E facilities and we unambiguously support the campaign for the Down A and E.”

Club member John Thompson agreed and pointed out that this affects all teams in all sports. He said that to his personal knowledge there had been 5 incidents at the Green High in the last year where A& E was required. Down High PE teacher and rugby coach Charlie Knox agreed and estimated that there were approximately 12 sporting incidents a year needing support of the A and E at the school.

Councillor Enright said, “it is clear that sports clubs across the District support this campaign. On Saturday morning in Dunleath Park I collected hundreds of signatures from local soccer teams until we were rained off. Almost every coach on every team emphasized the need for local A and E services. On Friday evening I took the petition to the Down  GAA HQ in Castlewellan who immediately dispatched it to all 48 local GAA clubs asking club secretaries to organize the collection of signatures at every club.”

Annual report to voters and constituents in every house in every village in Lecale

Dear Constituent,
I would like to wish you and your families a Happy New Year.

I am delivering my 8th annual report to every house in every village in Lecale this week to explain to you on how I have been representing your views on Down District Council and other agencies. I am the only local councillor to deliver an annual report to every house in Downpatrick.

Here is the electronic version Cadogan Enright Lecale Report January 2014

This newsletter can only be a summary my work for you over the last year. My website provides much more detail – see
 www.enright.ie  or search for ‘Cadogan Enright’ on Facebook where I post or log my activities as a councillor on a weekly basis.

Cllr Cadogan Enright

Annual report to voters and constituents in Downpatrick

Dear Constituent,
I would like to wish you and your families a Happy New Year.

I am delivering my 8th annual report to every house in Downpatrick to explain to you on how I have been representing your views on Down District Council and other agencies. I am the only local councillor to deliver an annual report to every house in Downpatrick.

Here is the electronic version  Cadogan Enright DPK Report January 2014

This newsletter can only be a summary my work for you over the last year. My website provides much more detail – see
 www.enright.ie  or search for ‘Cadogan Enright’ on Facebook where I post or log my activities as a councillor on a weekly basis.

Cllr Cadogan Enright

14th Jan 2014 Martin McGuinness supports Downe Community Hospital Campaign

Cllr Cadogan Enright with Downe Hospital Campaigners and Deputy First Minister at Stormont last night

Cllr Cadogan Enright with Downe Hospital Campaigners and Deputy First Minister at Stormont last night

Huge turnout to support the Accident and Emergency debate in Stormont last night (14th January) from Down District – here is a photo of some of us on the stairs at the Assembly with Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness showing up to support us (I’m top right)

FLOODING FROM TIDAL SURGE IN LECALE VILLAGES – week to January 8th

I found the response of Roads Service and Council to the tidal surge on Friday good in most Lecale Villages WITH 2 EXCEPTIONS
Examining  Storm Debris around houses in Coney Island before high tide1. The Roads Service would not help Coney Island as the road is deemed ‘private’ (this basically means the road is just a track) – the sea wall is partly breached in two places. So it seemed to me that the Council must protect ratepayers in Coney Island before going to the assistance of the Roads Service in other areas – but  they had no assistance on Friday from anyone.   Sadly when I phoned emergency duty manager  Michael Lipsett as the manager in charge of response, he  did not agree, so I have tabled the following NOTICE OF MOTION for the next Council meeting.

“That the Councils emergency plan for dealing with floods and other emergencies will be amended to deal with the protection of ratepayers in areas that other agencies are unable to provide assistance.

For instance Roads Service is unable to provide flood protection to Coney Island during tidal surges. It should therefore be the priority of the Council to ensure that these few areas be attended to first, before going to the assistance of other agencies.”

I spend several hours on Saturday trying to get some bags for Coney Island ahead of Sunday. As of 4pm today I had nothing but expressions of annoyance from the PSNI and the English-based help line that NI Councils were not answering their telephone numbers today ahead of Sundays surge. There were apparently many more like me seeking a few sandbags. I passed on my complaints and these other complaints to council management. Eventually on Saturday evening at 4.34 M Lipsett wrote out acknowledging these complaints and asking people to follow the councils ansafones directions.
In advance of Sunday, I have asked the council to give me sufficient sand bags to fill the two holes at Coney Island  – the first one would take 10 sand bags, and maybe 15 for the second one.
 
Cllr Enright delivering bags to the Riordan family -  Sandbags arrived a bit late in Strangford 2. Assistance arrived too late Strangford Village and several premises were left flooded out unnecessarily, and then the Roads Service lorry left too early leaving the Council lorry with too few sandbags to satisfy demand – presumably we can get the timings right on Sunday – I have contacted flood relief to make sure there is a more timely response here for the next 2 days especially Sunday.
 
Displaying Flooding over football fields in KilloughElsewhere, There were plenty of dramatic images with the football pitch at Killough being under water  and the bridge over Station Road between Killough and Ardglass being partly washed away on the Killough side
I was impressed with the Roads Service helping (in particular) Fishermans Row in Killough

January 2014 – Autistic and Learning Disabled fight for a home

CAPAA and Gateway representives visit with Cllr Cadogan Enright

CAPAA and Gateway representives visit with Cllr Cadogan Enright

GATEWAY CLUB for those with learning disabilities

I was able to assist Downpatrick Presbyterian Church in rescuing the Gateway Club at short notice by offering their hall in Fountain Street. The Gateway Club provides a social outlet for adults learning disabilities between 23 and 50 years of age. The South Eastern Trust had closed their facilities without notice.

CAPAA (Children And Parents and Autism)

Similarly  CAPAA  are now being removed from ward 24 at the Downshire. The Trust has not offered any alternative venue for their extensive educational and training work with children and adults, which offers a few crucial respite hours for carers.

I took Moira Denvir of CAPAA and Mary McCargo of GATEWAY to meet the financial decision makers at the Trust, and it was clear that the Trust itself was not clear on how a situation like this could have arisen. This has triggered an internal investigation that is continuing.

Meanwhile, do you know of an underused or dilapidated building in Downpatrick and District with an outside area that could be restored as a garden for fruit and vegetables that could be used by CAPAA? Contact Joanne 07885519469 or Moira at 07999525323, 

Gateway Christmas bash a great success

Gateway Christmas bash a great success