Bellinis, Hotel,Ships

Even today there is little enough public regard for the safety of voyagers – much less for that of employed sailors – on the open seas, as evidenced by the recent “‘Irish’ Ferries” dispute in Dublin, and more so by the hundreds of instances of piracy and ships ‘disappearances’ globally every year.  As I write, a ferry deemed unseaworthy is being tugged to the Netherlands for repairs.   An inquiry into the mysterious  sinking of a trawler off Kerry  – with all four crew drowned – has been  compromised by the  theft from the  stranded vessel of its GPS equipment that held a record of its last movements.  Skullduggery everywhere!

Our own ship-owners’ atrocious safety record – in and out of the ports of Warrenpoint and Newry – over the past century is highlighted elsewhere here. Suffice it for now to remember the loss of the crew of the S S Clonallon one hundred years ago this week.

The coaster was sailing from Cardiff in Wales to Dublin in 1906. Of the crew of eight who perished, seven were from Fathom in South Armagh. They were interred in the local Killeen Graveyard where a Celtic Cross marks their last resting place.

The recent dumping of a tonne of shattered asbestos in a beauty spot near Mullaghbawn is a terrible crime against local people. It will cost the Newry & Mourne ratepayers many thousands of pounds to safely dispose of this carcinogenic material.

Walkers and locals must be vigilant against the criminal fly-dumpers. Selfishness rules in this modern, greedy world. Spot them. Photograph them. (Yes! Use your mobile phone for something constructive!)  Report them. There is no other way to defeat them.

A favourite dumping place is the roadside verge at the border at Fathom. Many of us use the route frequently as we cross for cheaper fuel. Keep a weather-eye out!

This is the vicinity where North and South were to be reunited with the construction of an inter-connecting bridge. In the silly season when politicians have nothing else to amuse themselves with (I know! I know! that’s ALL the time) they trot out the old demand that this bridge – whose span must block ships of a certain size from ever-after accessing the Port of Newry – must be constructed.

In this regard it may be timely to remind readers of the ‘news’ of thirty years ago.

‘Councillors from both sides of the border met in Newry and gave their backing for a proposal to build a bridge linking Omeath and Warrenpoint. Discussions went on for three hours about the feasibility of constructing the bridge at a site adjacent to Narrow Water’.

Thirty years, more like!

Bellini’s is a good asset to the town. 

And it will be better too when the Restaurant and Night Club elements are added.

But ‘OVER 100 NEW JOBS FOR NEWRY’ as repeatedly advertised in our local press over the past few months? I think not!

Perhaps a score of part-time low-pay positions. Please stop taking us all for fools! 

I’m tired, for example, of ‘artists’ impressions’ of the wonderful new Hotel behind the Parochial Hall that has three times been front-paged, together with claims of many hundreds of jobs. 


Help!  Awful news! 

The Bridge bar is up for sale.

Clearly just the latest victim of that said (potential) Hotel.

Where now can a man enjoy a quiet pint before a blazing log fire?


And why is Joni Mitchell’s song running through my brain …?…

“They paved Paradise

Put up a Parking Lot

With a Pink Hotel

A boutique

And a swinging Hot-Spot..”

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