“not all heroes wear capes”.
Newry man Kevin McAteer has recently started to write articles for Down News.
He explained: “I enjoy being involved in the community and writing for me is a fantastic pastime. I have a full-time position as a health care worker but I’m in a sense driven to write a few stories.
“To date I’ve covered some interesting issues such as the current health crisis and interesting events around Newry. Down News is an online digital newspaper and covers County Down, and I’m delighted to be part of the team and to write a few articles. It’s great fun and requires a certain amount of competence.
“Jim Masson who owns Down News acts as editor and is going to provide training for me in journalism. I am looking forward to that. I will be writing on a range of topics and Jim will be keeping me right.
“If anyone has an interesting article or story lead they can contact me at email@example.com or ring Down News at 028 44 615690.
“At the moment I am like many people, I’m isolating. I work for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service and I’m based at Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry. I am waiting for a Covid-19 test done after displaying symptoms and I’ve been told to isolate for two weeks until I get the result.
“My partner and I will now be locked down for this two-week period. I’m used to being active so this is a bit of a bind. I go to the gym a couple of times a week and I’m involved in martial arts so I’m always on the go. I enjoy competitive sparing. It keeps you on your toes… literally!
“The symptoms I have are a new dry cough, a temperature and a runny nose. I can only advise that people adhere to the government and health department’s advice. It is important that we work together to fight this pandemic.
“While self-isolating I will have a bit of time now to read, write, relax, get healthy. I just have to shake off these symptoms.
“I am also a former Newry Mourne and Down District Councillor, but through personal circumstances had to resign which was unfortunate. I understand the pressure local and regional government are in at the moment. Again it is incredibly important that the public listen and follow the government advice on Covid-19. The only way we will beat it is with correct social distancing and through self-isolation. One day we will have a vaccine but we are not there yet.
“Down News was set up in October 2009 by Jim Masson who has already weathered the recession ten years ago and come through that period of austerity as a small business and kept the news flow going despite at times facing a range of difficult issues etc. “
Kevin McAteer added: “Jim even won a Best Use of Social Media award in 2011 in the Council business awards which was remarkable as he has set up an innovative media business, the first hyperlocal in Northern integrated with social media, and has continued to provide a news service to the Down News readers. Now Down News, a free online local news platform, is part of the news architecture in County Down and it is here to stay.”
“Two weeks is not too long to be locked up at home. The sooner we deal with this virus the better and get back to normal. If I have it, I just hope it clears up quickly.”
“I would like to commend all the dedicated staff in the NHS for their amazing work… not all superheroes wear capes.”