AT the December meeting of the Castlewellan and Kilcoo Branch of the SDLP, members praised the Christmas lights in the town and especially mentioned the work and effort by Castlewellan Regeneration Ltd and local business on how well the town was lit up.
Some members had attended a recent concert in the Presbyterian Church in aid of the new build. John Duggan (Branch Chair) said: “This was an excellent cross community event in a beautiful building. “
[caption id="attachment_44928" align="alignleft" width="350"] Councillor Laura Devlin gets a welcome handshake from outgoing SDLP Councillor Eamonn O’Neill after his 36 years of service as a councillor and MLA. [/caption]
Eamonn ONeill who was still a Down District Councillor at the time of the meeting, updated members on a couple of recent site meetings. The first meeting was with local businesses and residents from the Dublin Road/Bann Road area of the town. This meeting was called to further progress the investigations into the flooding in the town earlier in the year. It was with representatives from the Roads Service in Down and Banbridge and a further meeting took place with NI Water. These issues are now being pursued by new Councillor Laura Devlin who stepped into Eamonn O’Neill’s shoes.
A further meeting took place with Roads Service officials considering traffic issues in and around the Upper Square. Both Eamonn ONeill and Laura Devlin highlighted the problems with parking and speeding traffic.
The Branch congratulated Castlewellan Regeneration Ltd on the work done to secure over £30k in funding to be spread across 40 businesses to assist with painting and signage. A further £50k has been secured for an Environmental Improvement Scheme in the town. Additional funding has also been sourced to provide proper seating around the tree at the top of the Main Street near to the phone box – this type seating was synonymous with Castlewellan in days gone by.
These successful funding applications are again a massive boost to the town. The work done by this group which is headed up by Eamonn has been invaluable and testament to the community spirited nature of the company.
Laura Devlin praised the work of PIPS and MYMY in organising the relay race around Castlewellan Forest Park at the beginning of December. Councillor Laura Devlin said: “Whilst it was a cold morning, fortunately it was dry. Hundreds of people came out in force to support this amazing charity. Local businesses also rallied around and provided refreshments for all the runners. It was an excellent event and so well supported by the local community – well done to all involved.”