Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairman, Councillor Mark Murnin has highlighted the efforts of organisations and people who work to make the district a better place to live and work in throughout the year in his Christmas message.
Councillor Murnin said, “I am delighted to be able to take this opportunity to reflect on the work that has been done this year to make our Council a better place to live and work in. It has been an immense privilege for me to serve this district since becoming Chairman in June.
“We are living in challenging times and I have been heartened to see the way that businesses, the community sector and local people are working together for the benefit of everyone who lives in, or visits, the Newry, Mourne and Down area. The creativity that our business people and small producers exhibit has been on display in the numerous local fairs and artisanal markets. If you have not already done so, I would urge you to make their products part of your Christmas preparations—not only will you have something special and one of a kind, but you will also be supporting the economic growth of our area.
“The Newry, Mourne and Down district is renowned for breathtaking scenery and historic towns and villages. This year we have progressed a number of initiatives to enhance this, including the restoration of the Edwardian Warrenpoint Municipal Park, first opened in 1907, a project to share stories of the area around Camlough Lake and Victoria Lock, and an initiative to bring the history of Ballykinler to life, focusing on the 1914-21 period.
“When I came into the office of Chairman of the Council, I wanted to focus on one of our key priorities when choosing the charities I would support. That priority, supporting health and well-being outcomes, is fundamental to our determination to enhance the potential of our district.
“I have been particularly pleased to see the large number of health initiatives that have taken place throughout the district—with free health checks being provided in local communities as part of family fun days and events targeting our most valued older community. Often organised by our District Electoral Area fora, these events help to bring people together and I have been honoured to be part of these ongoing efforts.
“Since taking office I have had the pleasure of meeting a number of community and voluntary groups that are making a real difference to their areas. The charities that I have chosen to support during my term of office—the Air Ambulance Service, Glebe House-Harmony House and Newry and District Gateway Club—exemplify the service that voluntary organisations give to our citizens. I look forward to continuing my work with such bodies over the coming months.
“It is important to remember that the work our community organisations carry out does not stop during the festive season. In fact, often Christmas is the most demanding of times, and I cannot emphasise enough the gratitude we owe to those who work out of the public eye, often with little public recognition.
“As a time for family, Christmas can be hard on those who have suffered bereavement, are elderly, sick or just on their own. I would urge everyone to extend the Christmas spirit to those around you. “On behalf of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, I would like to wish each and every one of you a joyful and peaceful Christmas and hope that the New Year will bring prosperity and health for us all.”