Write a comment

PIPS Management Committee 2010On Tuesday the 4th May at 7pm, PIPS Newry and Mourne held their Annual General Meeting in PIPS Newry & Mourne House located at 22 Kilmorey Street, Newry. Pictured is the new management Committee for this coming year. Back Row- Deirdre Magill, Lawrence Moley, Fiona Hughes, Helen Woods. Front Row- Eamon Murphy, Attracta Brown, Marie Leonard, Peter Walsh. Missing from Photo - Derrick Harris and Jenni Spice.

Write a comment

Don’t miss the Carlingford Lough Maritime Festival with events taking place in Kilkeel, Warrenpoint, Newry, Carlingford and Greenore from Monday 24th to Monday 31st May 2010.

Write a comment

Warren Todd, Minority liasson officer, PSNI; Columba O'Hare, NRC; Damian McKevitt, NRC; Chief Inspector Sam Cordner, newry and mourne; Clr Charlie Casey, Deputy Mayor Newry and Mourne District Council;  Sgt David Hutchinson, PSNI and Teresa McDonnell, Youth Division Officer, PSNI.A Traveling Billboard from the Rainbow Project in Belfast arrived outside Newry Town Hall last week to mark International Day Against Homophobia and was met by Newry Deputy Mayor, Charlie Casey and members of the PSNI as well as members of the Newry Rainbow Community. It’s message was that Homophobia has no place in a civilised society.

Also to mark the Day the NRC had a Sing Out Against Homophobia event in Grounded Expresso Bar with fantastic traditional music supplied by Briege, Brian, David and Fergal and Blaine the NRC Chairman even got in on the act singing a few tunes.

An absolutely brilliant night with a large crowd representing the diversity of our Newry community and well done to all who took part in any way. Even Set Dancing was on show. It was a really special night from start to finish and hopefully a taste of things to come.

Guests at the Sing Out Against Homophobia Night in Grounded Expresso Bar included from left: Damian McKevitt, Secretary, Newry Rainbow Community; Catherine Sweeney, Newry and Mourne District Council; Cllr Charlie Casey, Deputy Mayor, Newry and Mourne District Council; Jacqueline Madden, President Newry Soroptimists; Brendan McGreevy, Grounded; Colin Moffett, Equality Officer, Newry and Mourne District Council; Sarah Nesbitt, Good Relations Officer, Newry and Mourne District Council and Blaine Whitley, Chairman, NRC.Sol Martin who also sang summed everything up to perfection with her words "Traditional Music is a journey, a journey that takes us to visit changing times, changing peoples. There’s nothing more traditional than change itself and while sometimes change is not always for good, sometimes it is and we are here because our society is on a journey, our society is changing for good and it’s not a change that happens like rain, or ash – It’s a change that WE make happen"

Write a comment

The First Citizen and Mayor of Newry & Mourne District, Cllr John Feehan, hosted a Civic reception for members of the Newry Rainbow Community in the Council Offices, Monaghan Row Newry.

Write a comment

Local farmers across Craigavon, Armagh and Newry & Mourne District Councils through the SOAR Local Action Group and Joint Council Committee are being urged to seek farm diversification grants worth up to £50,000. The next deadline for farming families to apply is 4pm on 11th June 2010 with further calls for applications planned up until 2013, so there is plenty of time to apply!

With almost £1 million already granted to rural small businesses creating 57 new rural jobs, SOAR are keen to hear from other farmers who wish to set up a new business outside of mainstream agriculture. SOAR are also keen to emphasise that the process is easy and straightforward and that applicants will be supported by a friendly, helpful and experienced team of people who are available to talk them through their business ideas.

HF HydraulicsOnce approved, the funds can be used for either new equipment or buildings, with past applicants having been awarded grants for projects as diverse as light engineering, self-catering accommodation, leisure activities and repair services.

Speaking about the grants, Councillor Josephine O’Hare, Chairperson of SOAR’s Joint Council Committee said, “Many farmers have buildings or other facilities which have the potential to be developed into small businesses outside of mainstream agriculture and we are now calling on them to apply for grants which will allow them to grow their business and in turn supplement their farm income.”

Adding to this, SOAR’s Local Action Group Chairman, Miceal McCoy said, “Farming families have an excellent opportunity to make use of grants of up to £50,000 which are available to set up or develop an existing business and with six professional staff available across the three Council areas to help guide them, farmers can be confident that they will receive the support they need to develop their plans.”

In preparation for submitting an application for a grant, farmers are asked to provide market research or test-marketing to demonstrate that there is a local market for their new business. The new business can operate on a part-time business and Council staff is available to work with all family members to ensure that the business is a success.

Case Study

HF Hydraulics - On Farm Business

Francis Hearty, a local farmer from Dorsey, Co Armagh, initially established his first farm diversification project HFS Engineering in 1994. The focus of this business is the design and manufacture of innovative agriculture and commercial equipment, however the business also offers a self drive hire service of agriculture and builders plant, accident repair service, refurbishment of agricultural and builders plant, and vintage machinery. Francis in 2006 then established his second farm diversification project, HF Hydraulics, the development of which has recently been awarded funding from SOAR. HF Hydraulics provides an onsite rapid repair service for hydraulics hoses; through funding from SOAR Francis will be in a position to purchase additional equipment for the repair of larger hoses, this equipment necessary to grow and develop his business, and ensure the delivery of a more efficient and effective on site service to his customers and clients.

Contact Farmers interested in applying for grants can contact Elaine Cullen, Programme Manager and the rest of the team across the three Councils, either at Craigavon Borough Council on 028 3831 2588, at Armagh City & District Council on (028 37529618) or at Newry & Mourne District Council on (028 3086 8900 & 4177 4381).

Write a comment

Ms Ciara Jennings, Newry was the winner of the Recycler of the Month competition for the Month of May. A £50 cheque was presented to Ciara by the competition sponsor’s ReGen. Ciara’s blue bin was full of all the correct recyclable material. She had even squashed cardboard packaging from her children’s toys and placed it into the bin. As well as filling her blue bin every fortnight, Ciara brings any extra materials for recycling to Newry Household Recycling Centre.

:Therese Hamill (NMDC) and  Ciara Jennings  (Winner) This month, Officers were delighted to find that the majority of bins set out, contained all the right materials. However a small amount of bins checked, did contain food waste, textiles, plastic bags and plastic containers, such as cake trays, margarine and yoghurt pots which should be placed in the black bin and not the blue bin. Some householders are putting in items, which have a recycling symbol but are not on the Council’s list of items accepted in the blue bin.

Householders are reminded that no plastic bags or packaging, apart from plastic bottles, should go into the blue bin. Drinks cartons also cannot be placed into the blue recycling bin. If residents would like to recycle their drinks cartons, they can bring them to any of the Council’s 7 Household Recycling Centres. Textiles can be recycled at the Recycling Centres, the 36 Recycling Bring Sites located across the District or given to charity shops.

To help boost our targets, we would encourage householders to continue to use our Household Recycling Centres for the disposal of other recyclable materials such as green waste, glass, waste oil, scrap metal, fluorescent tubes/energy saving light bulbs, timber, televisions and computer monitors, car batteries, household batteries and fridges/freezers.

Anyone who uses his or her blue bin correctly is eligible to win. This means that the blue bin is not contaminated, all material is clean, dry and loose, and where appropriate lids are removed and containers are washed and squashed. For more information about recycling or the competition, please contact Therese Hamill on (028) 30313233 or email

Write a comment

The Principal at St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook, Mr Oliver Mooney, has been awarded Principal of the Year at the Northern Ireland finals of the Teaching Awards held in the Waterfront Hall, Belfast, recently.

Mr Oliver Mooney, Principal of St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook, who was awarded Principal of the Year at the Northern Ireland Teaching Awards recently.  Mr Mooney will now represent Northern Ireland in the UK Teaching Awards which will be presented in London in October.Mr Mooney, who has been Principal at St Paul’s High School since 2002, received the award along with other colleagues in the teaching profession who were recognised for their outstanding contributions to the educational system in Northern Ireland.

Mr Mooney was presented with a ‘Plato’ Award, and will represent Northern Ireland in the UK Teaching Awards which will be presented in London in October. Mr Mooney was recognised by the judging panel as ‘a principal of great vision and a champion of comprehensive education’.

The judges acknowledged Mr Mooney’s commitment to continuous improvement in all aspects of his professional life, and described him as ‘value-led, people-centred and achievement-oriented’, providing ‘strongly principled educational leadership’ to the Bessbrook school.

The governors, staff and student body at St Paul’s High School are delighted with the recognition of Mr Mooney’s leadership and this accolade joins the many other achievements and recognitions which St Paul’s has brought to the local area.


Mr Oliver Mooney has dedicated his life to the field of education since graduating in the mid-1970s. He taught Geography for some years in a boys’ grammar school and then went to work for the Education and Library Board as an Advisor in Geography. He was appointed Principal of St Joseph's Boys’ High School, and then to St Paul's High School Bessbrook, where he became Principal in 2002. He has been a Principal of great vision, who has achieved a very significant amount in his time in St Paul's. He led the school through a massive refurbishment and extension during his first few years. He has empowered the staff in the school to create a dynamic team where all stakeholders can contribute significantly. This has led to an open, creative learning environment where each person; pupil and adult has the opportunity to achieve his or her potential. He is a man of intelligence who is not afraid to lead.

He has championed the cause of comprehensive education since experiencing its worth within St Paul’s and has been been instrumental in influencing thinking and policy in this area in Northern Ireland. He is a man of wisdom and has played a role in the appointments of many Principals throughout the north, being an astute assessor. He has been an inspirational leader who most certainly fits the shoes of Principal of the Year. St Paul's High School in Bessbrook was established in 1966 to serve a large rural catchment area in South Armagh with the aim of providing its pupils with a Christian education within the Catholic ethos. Its vision is to be a community inspired by the Catholic faith, living out Gospel Values and reflecting all traditions of our Irish cultural heritage. It aims to foster a spirit of cheerful co-operation and provide a caring environment which promotes high achievement and self esteem among staff and pupils.

Mr Mooney joined the staff as Principal in 2002 and has provided outstanding leadership with a clear and compelling vision for success. Its current enrolment has reached 1500. It is a unique secondary school in that it has consistently been oversubscribed since 2003. This is at a time when many schools cannot fill their quota. It is also only one of three post primary schools in Northern Ireland which has to refuse places to pupils who had obtained grade A in the Transfer Procedure; our reason being one of geographical criteria. Under Mr Mooney's leadership, St Paul's High School has been committed to a collaborative school vision of excellence and equity that sets high standards for every pupil, from the most able to those with special educational needs in the Learning Support Centre. In the ETI inspection, which took place in October 2008, the views of parents, teachers, support staff, governors and pupils were sought through questionnaires and meetings, some of the responses noted in the report of the inspection included, "the parents highlighted the school's pupil-centred inclusive ethos; ...the provision for pupils of all abilities; the leadership provided by the Principal and the very high regard in which the school is held in the community." "The governors expressed their commitment and strong support for the school, highlighting the principal's leadership, the emphasis placed on the pupils' academic, emotional, social and spiritual development; the hard work and dedication of the staff; the work of S.M.T; the links with the community and other organisations, and the pupils' good achievement."

Mr Mooney is able to engage others' complete commitment to the school's vision and values by inspiring, challenging, motivating and empowering others to carry the vision forward. He is a person of charisma, who models his vision of inclusivity in his approach to every pupil and adult within the school system. He has significant intelligence, is able to think strategically and embodies the conviction that the essential goodness of each human being can be harnessed for the greater good of the school community and the wider community. Mr Mooney is the Principal responsible for leading the school community through a massive refurbishment and extension programme which transformed the school fabric and ensured that the school is now equipped with state of the art facilities embracing all new technologies. He has shown significant wisdom in making appointments of dynamic and visionary staff who respond positively to the school ethos and develop professionally through original contribution. This discernment has been recognised by the employing authority, the Council for Catholic Maintained Schools. He is currently an assessor for Principal appointments throughout Northern Ireland. He has developed and sustained a strong leadership team and has been described in the ETI inspection report as " visionary and inspiring, whose management ensures the best possible provision for the pupils with a strong focus on enabling them to make a valuable contribution to their community." "The quality for the arrangements for pastoral care in the school is outstanding."

"The school offers a comprehensive range of subjects at both Key Stage Four and Sixth Form" "The school supports new and inexperienced staff well; the SMT provide them with good and innovative opportunities to develop professionally and personally." "The self-evaluation and school development planning processes are well embedded at all levels to the benefit of the pupils. The excellent school development plan is informed by a rigorous analysis of quantitative and qualitative data." As Principal, he is responsible for the matching of the talents of senior management to the areas outlined above. He displays trust and faith in each member of SMT, empowering them to make a difference in areas where they have obvious strengths. He encourages and empowers all of the staff to develop professionally, and he builds their capacity to support and sustain the outstanding quality of senior leadership and management. Evidence of this can be seen in the number of staff who have completed or are embarking upon the P.Q.H, and in the whole school commitment to embracing new technologies through our acquisition of the BECTA Award for ICT. Mr Mooney has created a culture and climate across the school which is characterised by the highest expectations and enthusiasm for teaching and learning and a commitment to achieving outstanding results.

The Inspection Report noted that the self evaluation and school development planning processes are well embedded at all levels to the benefit of the pupils. The excellent school development plan is informed by quantities and qualitative data. Percentage achieving five or more passes at GCSE grade C has increased significantly to 72% in 2009. Great foresight was shown by Mr Mooney in the appointment of a Vice Principal for Quality Assurance; an outstanding visionary worker who has led a detailed whole school improvement package at GCSE, involving staff, pupils and parents. Monitoring and evaluation with personal target setting for pupils that stretches and increases excellence have been put in place. The consequence has been that individual, team and whole school accountability for pupil learning outcomes has been increased. St Paul's High School was recognised as a Specialist College in Science in 2008 and has embraced fully all elements of its development plan within the school and within the wider community. Links have been established with local industry and with Norbrook Pharmaceuticals in particular.

As part of its Extended School involvement, there have been a multitude of initiatives ongoing, including a Summer Scheme for our future Year 8 pupils. We have recently submitted a comprehensive development plan for a collaborative cross-denominational project, in conjunction with QUB and the Atlantic Philanthropies project. This has been successful at Stage One and we look forward to its development in the coming year. We work collaboratively with Rathore Special School in the areas of Music and Drama and have made very considerable progress in 2009-10. In response to the CCMS Post primary Review Project, which is ongoing, we have established a collaborative curriculum unit for Post 16 study and Key Stage 4 study. This has been a particular success this year and has forged strong links between the two post-primary schools serving South Armagh. The school takes very seriously its own leadership role within the Area learning Community and works conscientiously to be an example of good practice to others. All these initiatives have been inspired and led by the vision of the principal Mr Mooney. Mr Mooney works collaboratively with others within the school and at Board of Governor level to build an open, fair and equitable learning community. This is evidenced in an excellent staff induction programme and a professional approach to PRSD (Performance Review and Staff Development); which takes into account personal and professional objectives as well as common objectives drawn from the School Development Plan.

In his management structure, he has constantly kept sight of the public faces of the school i.e. Music, Drama and Sport. To this end, he has fostered their development in terms of departmental appointments and within the management structure. Evidence shows that this was a well thought out strategy, because the school has blossomed significantly in terms of sport, dance and music. The extra curricular provision and its uptake is the envy of many schools of all types and sectors. Where staff conflict has arisen, he has exhibited effective strategies in managing the situation and in enabling the situation to be resolved speedily in a professional manner. He has, from the first day of arrival, embraced the need to celebrate success and achievements of individuals and teams. His level of pastoral care for staff, when in personal crises has been exceptional; using many strategies to enable the person to return on "full power" to the school organisation. He has heralded the concept of life long learning at every level; encouraging CPD for all staff and enabling each pupil to identify and achieve their career plan.

The embedding of Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance as a whole school initiative is currently a priority for him and his management team. Oliver Mooney aims for the maximum, never settling for doing "just enough"; this can be evidenced in the elaborate curriculum offered at each Key Stage, and the multitude of curriculum packages available to each student at Key Stage four; each package being valued highly by the school population. He is involved in primary education, and is the Chair of the Board of Governors in his local primary school. He was a member of the panel for STEM in Northern Ireland who, at the outset, awarded contracts to those who became the providers of STEM within the Northern Ireland context. He is fond of the outdoors and enjoys spending time with his family and young grandchildren. In these, and other ways, he sustains a strong sense of commitment and high personal energy levels.

Write a comment

From Monday the 5th of July 2010, Newry and Mourne District Council is updating their Civic Amenity Sites to Household Recycling Centres. This will bring about many changes, the main one being that Householders will have to sort their waste into recyclable and non-recyclable waste before bringing it to the sites.

Write a comment

Newry and Mourne District Council’s Administration Department, Finance Department and Equality Unit have each been awarded the Government’s Customer Service Excellence Standard Award.


Please consider supporting

Amount require Cookies on some parts of our site to enable full functionality. By using you consent to our use of Cookies. You can use your browser settings to disable cookies on this or any other website.