Archive for the 'Downpatrick' Category

Downe A&E cuts announced by South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust


Enright Slams Trust For Cutting Downe A&E Hours

Councillor Enright got versions of the letter below into the Irish news, Newsletter, Mourne Observer, Down Recorder and Down News. (click here)

re: Downe A&E cuts announced by South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust

2014 has opened with widespread anger around Downpatrick and District at the sudden announcement by the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust that they are experiencing a critical shortage of medical staff in both the Downe and Lagan Valley Emergency Departments and were thus forced to cut back on weekend working. This leaves local doctors operating an ‘Out of Hours’ at weekends and night-time at the Downe on their own.

The Monday before Christmas I attended a 3 1/2 hour emergency meeting between the Trust and local elected representatives at the Down Civic Centre  in the Downshire Estate on the Ardglass Road to demand answers on why Accident and Emergency services were being cut at weekends with suggestions that we travel to the Ulster hospital instead.

We were able to extract a promise from Trust management that when sufficient staff had been recruited, normal service would resume. The Trust also promised to brief us on progress towards this goal.


Suspicions exist that Lisburn and Downpatrick are being sacrificed to enable the Ulster to build up its numbers to resist being culled when the realization hits that we don’t need four major hospitals in Belfast. 45% of admissions to the Ulster are already from Belfast. Real people live beyond Carryduff.

The inability to recruit and retain middle-grade doctors to work in A&E points to poor planning and raises issues about the competency of Health Service management over a 15 year period since this problem has become widely acknowledged.  Solutions should have been found long ago.

At a time of huge graduate unemployment and emigration only 250 doctors are being trained every year in the North. Of these 100 are overseas students who will return home, and an average of 50 are emigrating annually on graduation.

You don’t need to be a brain surgeon to figure out that we should have been training at least 100 more per annum for many years, and that Trusts ought to be allowed to sponsor students who agree to work in scarce specialities for a number of years after graduating.

Roads infrastructure in South Down is very different compared to Lisburn or the Ulster which are minutes away from a selection of A&E hospitals in Belfast, Craigavon and Antrim. Some parts of Down District would require travelling 40 miles to the Ulster Hospital A&E or Daisy Hill in Newry. This is just unacceptable. Several local people described to me how that they would have died had they not been treated at Downe A&E over the last few years.

A solution must be found soon.


Cllr Cadogan Enright




Cadogan Enright collects signatures at local Rugby club for Hospital accident and emergency department's return.

Cadogan Enright collects signatures at local Rugby club for Hospital accident and emergency department’s return.

In addition to the 2600 signatures he collected in Saul, Raholp, Strangford, Kilcleif, Ballyhornan, Chapeltown and Killough, Cadogan Enright collects more signatures at Ballynahinch Rugby Club to prevent the closure of the A&E department in the Downe Hospital. Many sporting clubs agreed that the Accident and Emergency service was essential. Cllr Enright collected signatures at Dunleath park, Ballynahinch Rugby club and sent petitions to over 50 GAA clubs in the surrounding area.

Election Launch by Community Leaders and Farmers for Councillor Cadogan Enright

Community Leaders and Farmers Support Councillor Cadogan Enright’s re-election bid in Downpatrick

 Community leaders from villages across Lecale turned up to support Independent Downpatrick Councillor Cadogan Enright’s re-election bid on Tuesday, signing and handing in his nomination  nomination papers at Down Council’s Ardglass Road HQ.

Strangford Community Association Chair Diarmuid Riordan said “Councillor Cadogan Enright has earned a place in the new Council through his tireless work and genuine effort to help and work with our communities. We need at least one of our councillors to be independent, winning his seat by hard work, not just by belonging to one of the larger parties.”

Kilclief Residents Association Chair Maurice Denvir said “I nominated Cllr. Cadogan Enright for

the new Council election, on account of his excellent work in Kilclief and other areas locally. Councillor Enright has worked year in and year out for this area, and is the only Councillor we see around here on a regular basis working on the ground”.

Ardglass Development Association Chair Mary McCargo agreed and said “Cllr. Cadogan Enright represents a radical alternative to the ‘business as usual’ approach of other politicians in our area and is never afraid to tackle the difficult campaigns that Councillors in larger parties shy away from”.

Local farmers leader Alan Montgomery said “Councillor Cadogan Enright has made a significant contribution to the economic well-being of farmers in the Lecale area though his work on renewable energy projects and economic development. The farming  community needs this work to continue.”

Retired Councillor and local Green Party Leader Bill Corry praised Councillor Enright’s work with wildlife and environmental projects since the last local elections and called on local environmentalists to support the re-election campaign saying “for many years past, Downpatrick town and the Lecale coastal villages have elected a cross-community, Independent or green candidate. Councillor Cadogan Enright has been a catalyst for change in Down Council, putting the needs of Downpatrick and District ahead of party politics. I call on voters to ensure we keep an alternative voice to the domination of big parties alive in Downpatrick and along the Lecale Coast”.

Attached is a photograph of, from the left,

Strangford Community Association Chair Diarmuid Riordan,

Kilclief Residents Association Chair Maurice Denvir

Ballyhornan Realm vice-chair Barry Mervyn

Ardglass Development Association Chair Mary McCargo

Councillor Cadogan Enright, wife Brenda and son CadÓg

Ardglass Festival Committee Gerry Casey

Raholp community activist Tom Reynolds and wife Mary

Padráig MacThiranán, Knocnashinna, Downpatrick

Bill Corry, Downpatrick, ex Green Party Councillor and election agent

Chair of local Farmers collective DDFFRE Alan Montgomery, Rossglass

Secretary of local Farmers collective DDFFRE, David Chambers Tullynaskeagh


Here is the front page of my Downpatrick election leaflet

Downpatrick front page

Here is a linl to some of the issues I am highlighting in Downpatrick  Downpatrick Canvass Leaflet – why Downpatrick needs to vote Independent

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’”.



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.


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

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


Kitchen Stool Campaigning

Kitchen Stool Campaigning

Kitchen Stool Campaigning

Kitchen stools with posters on and clip-boards on top – works great – I got hundreds of signatures with them in Downpatrick Leisure Centre. AND you can put them in the back of a car and go to the next meeting or shop or Church. On a sports field you can lean on them and the legs go into the ground and they don’t blow over.


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.”