Archive for the '2. CAMPAIGNS AND ISSUES' Category Page 2 of 55

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’”.



Strangford Village Community Association has hit out at Down Council attempting to redevelop Strangford Village Green without consulting with local people. Down Council intends to make permanent its unofficial conversion of the slipway area into a car park and to build a huge piece of public art in would then remain of the lower Green as well as other extensive works on the green using funds from the Down Rural Area Partnership (DRAP) for as part of their Mourne Coastal project.

Cllr Cadogan Enright (left) with Strangford Community Association Committee protest Down Council designs on village green

Cllr Cadogan Enright (left) with Strangford Community Association Committee protest Down Council designs on village green

Councilor Cadogan Enright has attempted to intervene and brokered a meeting last week between Mark Mohan representing Council management and the Village Association. Cllr Enright said “there were easy an obvious compromises where both sides could get what they want to the benefit of the village green. I was shocked when Mark Mohan later informed us on Friday night that the council Director concerned (Marie Ward) had refused to meet village committee representatives to work out a compromise”.

Community Association Chair Diarmuid Riordan said “Local people are appalled. To make matters worse Council officers are aware that the village committee were given substantial funding by the Down Rural Area Partnership (DRAP)  to consult with local people and develop an ‘Integrated Village Plan’ to reflect what local people would like to see in all areas of village life. This included having the Village Green as a shared space for all the community and tourists alike. Down Council however has decided to press ahead with its own plans, and intends to approach DRAP to fund these plans in defiance of the wishes of local people.

Association Treasurer Gary Laverty said Cllr Enright said, “ Strangford Community Association are writing to DRAP to urge the Rural Development office in Ards not to release the funds for the Strangford part of the Mournes Coastal scheme, as the basic requirement under the DRA P scheme for community consultation have not been met.”

Cadogan Enright said, “The slipway is almost the only public one left on this side of Strangford Lough. The Council has turned it into an unofficial carpark even though a Ferry carpark already exists. Both local people and tourists alike need somewhere to launch their boats. Not everyone is in a yacht club. I have photographs going back to the 50’s and 60’s  and before of the slipway.  This is part of the fabric of the village. This is going to turn into another ‘Strangford Fence’ campaign. We have only just finished fighting off DRD’s attempt to fence off New Quay, now we will have to fight off a new land-grab on a community space by the Council”.

Diarmuid Riordan agreed and said “A statue of Lenin would be more welcome in Kiev at the moment than Councils statue in the middle of our green. This is the heart of the village where the fairground, the community festival and the public life of the village takes place. If we have to have a statue, then there are 2 spaces in the upper green where they could be situated.”

The Village committee continues to demand a meeting with senior council management, and has vowed to resist any proposal inimical to the best interests of the lower green or Strangford Village as a whole.


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.


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”.


Councillor Cadogan Enright at LIDL Downpatrick

Councillor Cadogan Enright at LIDL Downpatrick


LIDL’s top management in Northern Ireland have confirmed to Councilor Cadogan Enright they will no longer levy fines for customers parking at their premises after shopping hours. This announcement followed a ‘Facebook’ campaign by Councilor Enright which has resulted in a lot of unfavorable publicity for LIDL around Down District and Northern Ireland.

Cllr Enright said, “LIDL management ‘phoned me on Monday to announce this change in policy and also pledged to pay the fines of anyone who was penalized outside of shopping hours at their Downpatrick store. They asked me to forward any fines received by my constituents in these circumstances and that LIDL themselves would pay these fines on their behalf.”

Explained Cllr Enright “Large numbers of people have been receiving £100 parking fines for parking at LIDL at night time. These individuals rightly presumed that signs at the Market Street store reserving parking spots for customers did not apply when the store was closed. One of my cases involves young lady working for a minimum wage in the pub next door to LIDL who has been fined £400 for parking at night time outside of shopping hours by this new and extraordinary scheme.”

“I would call on anyone who has been fined in these circumstances to send me their fines, or their car registration numbers so as I can provide their details to LIDL head office in Kildare who will be looking after these fines.”



The system of fines was introduced after problems arose with commuters to Belfast started to monopolise LIDL car parking spaces during the day, leaving no room for actual LIDL customers. The problem with the new system was that (unlike on-street parking in Downpatrick) the fines system applied 24 hours a day – and there was no way a customer could have known that from the signs on the front gate.

LIDL has also promised the Councilor Enright that they would urgently review their contract with the private car park operator to ensure that no further fines would be issued in this manner.

Cadogan Enright welcomed this volte-face and said, “LIDL is a valuable presence in the town, and it is to their credit that they chose a town centre location which helps other businesses around the town rather than going for an out of tome centre like other multiples.”

“Parking in the town centre at night time can be limited, and this safe, monitored car-park adds to the attraction of Downpatrick as a centre for the ‘evening economy’ where people going out for a meal or an outing with friends have somewhere safe to park their cars.” Concluded Cllr Enright

PROTECTING WILDLIFE in Minerstown / Rossglass

Carraig na Ron - Seal Rock

Local farmers, residents and professional wildlife experts turn out to support wildlife on Minerstown Beach

GOOD NEWS FOR WILDLIFE!! For the last 6 years+ I have been trying to get bye-laws passed to protect shore-nesting birds and seal pups from disturbance during the breeding season. The DOE delayed us for years – but now our bye-laws will be going for consultation in the next few weeks.


  1. Send me your email address so I can make sure that you get a copy of the consultation document – it is vital that we get a lot of positive responses.
  2. Take or print a few copies of this document for your friends as anybody who uses Rossglass or Minerstown beaches can submit an opinion, not just those of us living locally.

see slide show on killing and disturbance of wildlife here>  Minerstown wildlife killed (for internet)

Carraig na Rónta

Seals on the rocks at Minerstown – Carraig na Rónta


These bye-laws are the first in Northern Ireland by a Council specifically to protect wildlife. They are a precedent that can be used to protect wildlife in any other part of N.I.. This is why myself and others have campaigned for years to get this result.





Golden Plover nest Rossglass / Minerstown later squished by a quad

Golden Plover nest Rossglass / Minerstown later squished by a quad

Similarly there are only a very few patches of shingle along the coast where mechanised vehicles need to avoid squishing plover or other birds nests – these areas need our protection. Information boards are vital here.

Once most ordinary decent people are told why they have to keep their dogs on a lead near seal pups, or keep dogs 200 meters from newly pupped seals they make a point of doing so. Anyway we have 100 kilometres of coastline to let dogs run free!But these bye-laws also authorise public officials to take action where needed.


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

scandalous letter response to Coney Island plea for flood help


Debris around houses in Coney Island

Debris around houses in Coney Island after 3 successive tidal surges

Coney Island resident kevin lappin and cadogan enright during recent storms

Coney Island resident kevin lappin and cadogan enright during recent storms




I will keep adding to this as the saga unfolds until they are embarrassed into doing something about this scandal.

———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Cadogan Enright <>
Date: Sun, Feb 9, 2014 at 11:53 PM
Subject: reworded notice of motion
ToJohn Dumigan, CEO of Council and to Maria McCarthy SDLP Chair of Council

Dear John and Maria

in the absence of a reply on this issue, I am therefore proposing a new wording for the Notice of Motion. I note that this is the seventh notice of motion since the last AGM from myself that council management have sought to suppress.

Amended wording reads;

“Council notes that province-wide agreements, arrangements and protocols reflected in the Councils emergency plan for dealing with floods and other emergencies currently prevent some villages being offered assistance if the Roads Service does not recognise the roads serving those villages as public roads. Council management have explained that they do not provide assistance either as they follow the ‘Lead Agency’ in emergencies of this kind.

For instance Roads Service is unable to provide flood protection to Coney Island during tidal surges, so Down Council would not either.

Council directs management to change these ‘province-wide agreements, arrangements and protocols‘ to ensure that all ratepayers can expect not to be excluded from Council assistance in emergency situations by the bureaucratic rules of other agencies”

I am copying other Councillors for information.

Councillor Cadogan Enright

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Cadogan Enright <>
Date: Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 1:46 PM
Subject: Re: Fw: notice of motion
To: John Dumigan, CEO of Council
Cc: Maria McCarthy Chair of Council and SDLP
Thank you for your response

Can you explain how we can protect areas like Coney Island if, as you suggest, we can only follow the lead of other Agencies?

Let me understand what you are saying;

1. If the Road Service refuses to support Coney Island because these 40 houses are on a private road (as it did in the recent storms on theFriday and the Sunday) we have to follow their lead

2. you are suggesting that Down District Council will work to support the Roads Service in preventing floods in other villages and refuse to support Coney Island

3. We know that the 40 houses are our ratepayers, and expect us to provide service to them in the same manner that we do to other areas. You are saying that they are incorrect in this expectation

I dont see how we have any choice but to run with my notice of motion in this regard. I am prepared to accept a rewording if it will help you, but we cannot abandon a community in our area  to floods because we are slavishly following an incorrect policy of another government agency

The problem is that your “province-wide agreements, arrangements and protocols” that you refer to below are wrong, and need to be amended.

Cllr Cadogan Enright

On Fri, Jan 17, 2014 at 10:01 JohnDumigan> wrote:


Your proposed Notice of Motion will, if adopted, by the Council, cause us to break province-wide agreements, arrangements and protocols.  The Council’s role in an emergency is to follow the advice/guidance of the Lead Agency.  Depending on the emergency the Lead Agency may be the DRD, Health Trust, Ambulance Service, Fire Brigade, Rivers Agency, etc or the Council.   To adopt your proposal would mean we would have a priority action that may well affect our ability to provide the support asked of us by the Lead Agency.  In the last flooding emergency the Lead Agency was the PSNI and they provided us with important information and advice on the areas of greatest risk and where we should focus our limited resources.

In an emergency we collaborate with others and collectively decide what needs done and who should do it.  Last week our role was to support the DRD in the distribution of sand bags.

The Council has no sand bags of its own, other than to protect its own property and its not our role to distribute sand bags to the public.  There is a province-wide protocol that sets out who does what regarding sand bags and we signed up to that.  To adopt your Notice of Motion would mean we wouldn’t be following the protocol.

Finally, I do not believe that the response to an emergency is a matter of the Council, it is an operational matter and for that reason and the other reasons set out above I will refer your comments to the Council’s Emergency Team.

John Dumigan
Clerk and Chief Executive

Committee Clerks
Down District Council
Downshire Civic Centre
Downshire Estate
Ardglass Road
BT30 6RA

Date: 04/01/2014 18:55
Subject: notice of motion

Dear Sarah,

I would like to put a notice of motion before the next council meeting please

The wording is as follows

“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.”

Thanks a lot and happy new year Sarah


Strangford Journalist speaks out on A and E

Marie Louise McCrory speaks for Strangford and for us all.

I collected A and E petitions in Strangford village all last week, getting the last of them from Fr McGrady at Stella Maris Church today.

Here are the views of one person who was in  Stella Maris Church

DOWNPATRICKS FUTURE DEPENDS ON SAUL ROAD DEVELOPMENT – sent to papers today – copy my points for your objection


Sir,             (NOTE use reference R/2013/0544f to object when writing to Planning Office in Rathkelter House, Market St. DPK)

The huge new housing development proposed for the Saul Road in Downpatrick, is going to be the litmus test of the sincerity and professionalism of the Roads Service and Planning Service in Down District.

For years the Roads Service has been saying that any ring-road around Downpatrick must be ‘developer-led’. I.E. Paid for by developers of the land in question. This development parallels the route of the ‘Eastern Distributor Road’ shown in the development plan, and therefore must be built off that road, and not the Saul Road.

Planners put this ring road in the ‘Area Plan’ for Downpatrick. It links the Hospital to the Belfast Road by crossing the Ballyhornan, Saul and Strangford roads in a wide arc. It would dramatically reduce congestion in Downpatrick, and allow the Southern side of the town to be developed in line with the expansion envisaged in the Area Plan. The new upgraded Sewerage plant was constructed to accommodate up to 20,000 people with this in mind.

We were told that without this link road, development would be restricted on that side of the town.

But instead of following the Area Plan, this development proposes to discharge onto the already congested Saul Road, orientated to overlook and dominate Ardenlee. This development should be orientated away from Ardenlee and built along the new link road. When the new hospital was built, they were forced to deliver the bit of the ring-road off the Ardglass Road roundabout . This development must be one of the next links in the chain. Developers need to understand that this vision for Downpatrick serves their interests too.

The Roads Service and the Planning Service now have a chance to deliver what they have been talking about for years. If they fail, politicians must intervene. They should note that after the May elections Councillors will have the power to set planning policy, and will be able to insist that the Area Plan is delivered for the benefit of the whole town.

If planners fail Downpatrick on this one, we will be left with congestion, an inability to deliver potential growth and jobs locally and with the Hospital ‘marooned’ on the wrong side of town giving the bureaucrats up at the Ulster Hospital a further excuse to cut our local services.

Yours etc

Cllr Cadogan Enright