10 Years Ago
March 27 2003
Training college plan
RECRUITS to the PSNI could be starting off their career in Mid-Ulster in the future. The MAIL has learned that consideration is being given to a new police training college being located in Cookstown district. It is understood that an opportunity has been presented to the council to submit a tender for the siting of the college.
A former Cookstown policeman convicted of murdering his family has launched a new legal bid aimed at proving he is innocent. John Torney (47) is serving a life sentence after a jury convicted him of shooting his wife Linda (33), son John (23) and daughter Emma (10) in the family home at Lomond Heights in the town in 1994.
The level of unemployment dropped in Mid-Ulster, according to the latest statistics from the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment. While Magherafelt district showed little change in the number of out of work at 425 (four extra), Cookstown had an increase of 18 bringing its figure to 408. Dungannon had 592 claiming unemployment benefit.
Three pupils from St Patrick’s College, Maghera, were successful in obtaining the Spirit of Enniskillen awards. The three students are Niamh Bradley, Emma O’Kane and Liam McCusker. Their awards will enable them to travel abroad to either America or Europe for two weeks.
The introduction of the blue bin system for recycling has been a huge success, Magherafelt District Council heard.
Deaths: March 23, Margaret (Gretta) Leacock, Rock Villas, Knockloughrim; March 23, Samuel Loughrim, Annagh Road, Cookstown; March 24, Mary Jane Ralph, Riverside, Dunman, Cookstown; Jeremy Richard Sprake, Harare, formerly Beechway, Cookstown
25 Years Ago
March 31 1988
BP halt Loughshore mining
BRITISH Petroleum has agreed to halt all mining and prospecting in the Loughshore area of County Tyrone. The temporary reprieve was thrashed out at a meeting between the mining magnates and anti-mining group Lignite Action.
The Housing Executive was urged at a special meeting of Magherafelt District Council to provide an Old People’s Home in Maghera.
Plans to give bands their “marching orders” for parades have sparked protests within the Orange Order. The Order has instructed lodges to sign contracts with individual bands requiring members to guarantee good behaviour and limit numbers. Orange chefs deny that it is an attempt to drum out so called blood and thunder bands.
The IRA has handed back more than £2,000 of £6,000 it stole in an armed robbery on the INF Club in Dungannon after discovering that the cash was destined for charity.
A great goal from Ireland captain Martin Sloan in the 47th minute was enough to beat Holywood 87 and book Cookstown a place in this year’s Irish Senior Hockey Cup final at New Blaris.
Deaths: March 26, Samuel Stanton Anderson, Doorless, Tullyveagh Road, Cookstown; March 25, John A. Cole, Glenburn Park, Magherafelt; March 20, Nellie Stirrup, Cooke Crescent, Cookstown; Robert Walter Watterson, Leicester (formerly of Moneymore Road, Cookstown); March 19, William Winning, late of Park View, Castledawson.
50 Years Ago
March 30 1963
LORD Brookeborough has resigned as Prime Minister of Northern Ireland for health reasons. He is succeeded by his Minister of Finance, Captain Terence O’Neill, who had been Acting Prime Minister during Lord Brookeborough’s operation and convalescence.
Thomas Mitchell, the Dublin bricklayer and former IRA chief, who was released from Belfast prison last year after serving eight of a 10-year sentence for his part in the 1954 raid on Omagh barracks, has been named as Republican candidate for the Mid-Ulster seat in the next Imperial General election.
The end of the IRA campaign against Northern Ireland means that, despite a recent increase in police pay, £676,900 less will be needed for police services in 1963-64.
Magherafelt Rural Council are to hold a civic reception next week for Rainey Endowed School’s Rugby 1st XV, whether they win or lose Saturday’s School’s Cup final at Ravenhill against Belfast Royal Academy.
An illuminated address appreciating his valuable services was presented to Dr William Cousley, JP, at a Complimentary Dinner held by the people of Moneymore and district in the new church hall. The function was attended by upwards of 250 friends and wellwishers.
Deaths: March 27, William John Buchanan, Drumballyhue, Rock; March 23, Rachel Davidson, Montober, Cookstown.
75 Years Ago
March 26 1938
THE teaching staff and pupils of Burn Road PE School, Cookstown, who had been using the Assembly Rooms and the British Legion Hall as temporary premises for almost a year, during the erection of six new class rooms and extensive alterations to the old building, went into occupation of their new quarters.
On the platform at a Sale of Work in aid of the funds of Kilcronaghan Parish Church werfe Mrs Parker, OBE, MP; Rev W.D. Ewart, MA, and Mrs Ewart; Rev J.H. Kingston, MA and Mrs Kingston; and Mr Herbert Kelly.
At Dungannon Musical Festival a team of children from Miss McNeill’s class in the Burn Road School, Cookstown, won first place in the choral speaking for PE schools, while Gordon McGloughlin won second prize in the verse speaking competition for boys of 10-12 years. Dorothy Gibson was awarded a special badge for obtaining a high mark in the class for girls of 8-10 years.
Arrangements were being made for the 100th Anniversary Services of Castledawson Presbyterian Church.
Deaths: March 16, Margaret Campton, Ballybriest, Cookstown; March 24, Mary Harbinson, North Street, Stewartstown.
100 Years Ago
March 29 1913
Picture house opens
A PICTURE House opened in St George’s Street, Dungannon.
For Cookstown Quarter Sessions 98 civil bills were entered, 21 of which were defended.
Deaths: Michael Bradley, Labby; Charles Ferguson, Cookstown; Christopher Smyth, Craigmore House; William S. McConnell, Curglassan; John L. Johnston, Aughrim; William Crawford, Clare and Mrs E. McSherry, Cookstown.