Tremendous turnout for sponsored run/walk and unveiling

Sponsored run/walk 2017 for 50th anniversary Callan Styreet Gas Explosion
Getting ready for the off

There was a tremendous turnout for both the sponsored run and walk held as part of West Armagh Community festival. Several hundred runners and walkers took part in the event that was organised in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the Callan Street Gas Explosion. Monies raised went towards the erection of a memorial stone. The other beneficiary of the run/walk is P.I.P.S.

Gas Explosiuon Memorial
Unveiling of memorial to mark the spot of the Callan Street gas Explosion

The following night the memorial stone was unveiled at a short ceremony on the spot where fifty years ago so many people mostly children were badly injured and resulted in the death of five year old Brendan Donnelly.

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All Fun At The Zoo


All the fun at the Zoo for the trip with the children’s summer camp. Look at the crazy human was probably on the minds of many of the animals as the little darlin’s look in at them. A good day was had by all with the exception of a few complaints about the mountaineering route around the zoo.

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Dr.Eamon Phoenix delivered the Historical Lecture

Lord Mayor Garath Keating welcoming Dr.Eamon Phoneix who delivered the lecture

Dr.Eamon Phoenix the well renowned historian deliver a very interesting lecture/discussion on the Easter Rising with a northern connection. The lecture was just one event in the West Armagh Community Festival and Dr.Phoenix took the opportunity to highlight the involvement of some Armachians in these historical events.



Tayto park on day four of the summer camp




Day four of the summer camp was trip away day. Everyone piled  onboard the bus and headed off to Tayto Park in Co.Meath.The park is packed with attractions from play areas,animal enclosures to the almost obligatory high thrill attractions for an adventure park. The children certainly enjoyed the day.The only drawback, if it could be called that, was the crowds that resulted in lengthy waiting times for some of the more popular attractions. As for the community volunteers who supervised, even with the bright green t-shirts issued to all children it proved a dificult  job keeping an eye on them. The phrase 'kids is a candy shop' springs to mind.





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Day three of the West Armagh Community Festival and the summer camp continues with its activities.The weather wasn't too favourable but fortunately the days schedule was set indoors. Starting off with an irish lesson delivered through song and game the children have a great time with tutor Michael Hughes who entertained them for the morning session,during which they learned a  cuplá focal. Games and songs where the order of the day and it was fortunate that the building was not occupied by any other group at the time because the noise level was noticable increased.

After lunch the ever energetic Joanne Mullan took the kids for another dance and drama session. There was no reluctance on the part of the boys this time, who were worried on Monday that dance and drama meant something 'sissy'. Anything but it and once again the noise levels increased. The only concerns being expressed by our community volunteers who regretted not taking ear plug with them.

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Marie Smyth ladies road bowls winners 2015

Marie Smyth ladies road bowls winners 2015

It was bettter weather this year for the Marie Smyth Ladies Road Bowls competition. As with last year there wasa good turnout of ladies willing to take on the Drumacairn Road score.Unlike last year the ladies didn't get a sound drenching for their efforts which only added to the excitment and enjoyment of the night.

Originally scheduled for Wendesday night the score had to be brought forward because it clashed with a previously arranged score organised by  Ból Cumann Na Meirleach. Nevertheless the word went out and via social media and the ever effective grapevine all were informed of the change. Congratulations to Kate Martin and Danielle  Casey who lifted the trophy And well done to all who attended.

Marie Smyth Road Bowls 2015

Political Discussion on second night of festival




The second night of the festival saw our political discussion held in the consortium hall. Entiled Irish unity and it's cost, is it viable and is it partition costing us? the top table consisted of Sean Fearnon Queens University Student Officer, Maggie Lennon formerely of SNP and now Women for Independence, Stevie Nolan from Trademark, Dr,Conor Patterson from Newry/Mourne Enterprise, Dr. Peter Doran from School of Law, Queens University, Michell O'Neill MLA and Micky Brady MP.

The speakers were well recieved by the audience and their comments provoted and number of questions addiing furthere to the debate that linked the cost of irish unity or non unity with globalisation and the increasing widening of the divide between the ultra rich and rising power and influence of multi national corporations.



Festival Kicks Off


The West Armagh Community kicked off on Monday 3rd August with start of the children's summer camp. Held at our premises at Sherrys Field sports complex children form the west of the city are being given a week long programmes of sports, crafts, language and fun events. Monday started off with a football and camogie coaching session delivered by Julie O'Neill from St.Brigids Camogie Club. Many thanks to Julie and the volunteers who came along to help out.



It was somewhat appropiate that camogie should be on the menu as our first challage match took place on Monday evening when under - 12 teams from St.Brigids and St.Joseph's in Madden did battle for the Mallon/McIlvenna Memorial Cup.  Named in honour of local men Gerard Mallon and Peadar McIlvenna thhis is the first year of this challenge. St.Brigids were triumphant and became the first winners of the cup. St.Joseph's but up a valliant fight but St.Brigids proved just too strong for them, although Madden are already looking forward to claiming the cup next year.

West Armagh Community Festival



The West Armagh Community Festival began in 2001 the festival and takes place in early August. Designed to coincide with the anniversary of the introduction of internment in 1971 the idea was to divert energies at this particular time to something more positive. In the early years of internment the anniversary was a particularly volatile time of year. Protests were widespread and the city was no different and it was a period of considerable street unrest.

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