A Christmas Message from Down Council Chairman Councillor Mickey Coogan

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COUNCILLOR Mickey Coogan, Down District Council Chairperson, has sent out his Christmas message across the district and he praised efforts to promote community spirit and to strengthen communities by individuals, groups and organisations.

He said that the festive season brings out people’s kindness, their caring nature, generosity and sense of community spirit.  Christmas is a time for family gatherings, a time for goodwill and also one to remember those who may be less fortunate than ourselves.

Special Olympics gold medalists Fintan O’Connor from Ballynoe (golf) and Bethany Firth from Seaforde (swimming) help Down Council Chairperson Councillor Mickey Coogan to send out his Christmas message from the new Down Civic Centre in Downpatrick.

Councillor Coogan said: “During my civic year, I have met many people from across Down District and have been overwhelmed by the commitment and contribution they make towards making their local community a better and safer place.

“I would also like us to spare a thought for the families whose loved ones will not be with them at this festive time for various reasons. It can be a difficult time, through the loss of loved one or ill-health.

“Winter is of course a time when looking after the more vulnerable older members of our community becomes more important… which is why I am encouraging residents, through my Christmas message, to be good neighbours over the festive holiday season.  Helping out at home by offering to do the simple, basic tasks like shopping, collecting prescriptions and checking on older neighbours to see that they are warm and well is what can make someone’s Christmas for them.  Even the smallest kindness may help and I know many of you will make a difference.

“Over the last few years, the adverse weather conditions have affected many people and it has been a trying time for the emergency services and our Council to ensure that we are kept safe. Credit must also go to the voluntary groups, organisations, businesses and individuals who have worked tirelessly to ensure that their services continue to be delivered.

“As family and friends come together and look forward to the New Year, we should find ways of strengthening our own communities for whatever may lie ahead and build on the foundations of success we’ve already achieved.

“I hope that each and every one of you has a happy Christmas and that we can all try to bring that happiness to others and as another door closes another one opens. I would like to wish you a very merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year.”

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