Coalisland Post’s review of the year 2011

Taking a look back at some of the stories during the year from in and around the town.

Supporting communities after a suicide

Coalisland Post was created in March, with the aim of reporting on news and views from in and around the town. Among the first reports to be published on the site, the co-founder of Coalisland-based suicide-prevention charity the Níamh Louise Foundation, spoke about the charity’s message, its breaking of social taboos and the pressures of living through grief so publicly.

Tyrone man to play for Celtic

Paul Hughes won a competition to play for Celtic

It was great news to hear Paul Hughes, son of Newtownkelly man Dessie, won a competition to play for Celtic at the beginning of April.

The  23-year-old student, of Dungannon, was selected to be in the final 120 to take part in a “bootcamp” at Celtic’s Lennoxtown training facility.

Former Celtic players Chris Sutton and Frank McAvennie then helped pick 30 players to take part in a charity match between two teams of Celtic fans.

“Going to watch football being played at Parkhead is special enough, but to play there myself will be unforgettable,” Paul said.

“Most of the lads are quite jealous but I’ll bring back a few souvenirs for them.”

Massive arms haul on Mountjoy Road

Our community was at the centre of several major police operations in early April following the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr.

PSNI teams first stormed a Coalisland home on Washing Bay Road as part of an investigation into “terrorist activity”, and officers confirmed that weapons and materials were discovered in a Mountjoy Road garage in a separate incident several days later.

Speaking at a press conference at police headquarters in Belfast, Assistant Chief Constable Drew Nelson said the find was “the most significant in recent years”.

During the summer, Coalisland man Brian Campbell was among the five men and one woman police wrongfully arrested in connection with the murder of Constable Ronan Kerr.

The 23-year-old is said to be taking legal action after being released without charge.

Coalisland candidates nominated for elections

Election fever (well, more like a sniffle) hit Coalisland in April as candidates battled to win seats at Dungannon council.

SDLP’s Jim Cavanagh, Dessie Donnelly and Mickey Gillespie of Sinn Féin, and the UUP’s Kenneth Reid successfully contested their seats, while Coalisland man Joe O’Neill and Clonoe’s Pádraig Quinn won the remaining positions for Sinn Féin.

Street bonfire blaze in centre of Coalisland

Shoppers in the town centre were alarmed in July after discovering the charred remains of a street bonfire. Vandals had metal wiring, a gate and bags of rubbish alight at the Lineside.

Gortgonis ‘hit and run’

In July, Anthony Joseph Quinn, 21, with a current address of Culdee Terrace, Armagh, was accused of murdering his cousin Declan in a hit-and-run incident in Gortgonis.

>Previous reports on alleged Declan Quinn hit and run

Supermarket storm

A big talking point on the website has been the on-going saga with the plans for a Newell Stores supermarket on the Lineside in Coalisland.

The divisive development was scrapped earlier this year following intense pressure from residents and community groups.

But developers submitted revised plans, prompting much debate from residents.

>View all of Coalisland Post’s articles on the plans

Liam Fox: Compensation payout for IRA getaway driver ‘outrageous’

Aidan McKeever – who was wounded by undercover soldiers following an IRA machine gun attack on Coalisland’s RUC station in 1992 – received £75,000 compensation in October.

According to the Newsletter, former defence secretary Mr Fox branded the payout as “outrageous”.

Brackaville puppy ‘shot with air rifle’ dies

People in the town were disgusted after a seven-month-old puppy was shot with an air rifle in Brackaville.

Male terrier Geno was found whimpering and covered in blood after being shot late at night in October.

Clonoe and Coalisland hit by flooding

Homes and roads in Coalisland and Clonoe suffered severe flooding after prolonged heavy downpours hit Northern Ireland in October.

One home on Moor Road, Clonoe, was flooded for the second time in four years.

Washingbay Road also suffered significant flooding, with homes close to Coalisland becoming submerged in the deluge.

Paranormal investigators: Brackaville ghost site ‘truly haunted’

Spirit-hunters said the site in Brackaville where a ghostly woman in white is said to appear was “truly haunted” after completing an in-depth investigation.

Controversial play receives positive reaction in Coalisland

A touring play prompted audience walkouts in Omagh due to explicit scenes of male rape and bestiality.

But the controversial production received a more favourable reaction in Coalisland when it arrived in CRAIC Theatre in early November.

Revealed: The grants given to each Coalisland store for shop-front facelifts

In November, Coalisland Post revealed the amounts of money each business in the town has received from Dungannon Council to carry out shop-front facelifts.

Councillors shelled out almost £50,000 in grants to 18 Coalisland businesses as part of their Shop Front Enhancement Programme.

Ulster champions Derrytresk visit Kingsisland pupils

Derrytresk GFC had a fantastic sporting season in 2011, winning the Ulster Junior Championship and Tyrone Junior Championship.

And pupils at Kingsisland Primary School were excited to meet players from the club when they visited the school.

What were your defining stories from 2011? Share your views by commenting below


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