10 Years Ago
March 14 2002
SECURITY is expected to be stepped up in Magherafelt in the run up to St Patrick’s Day.
Police fear loyalist paramilitaries may try to disrupt the demonstration by the Ancient Order of Hibernians.
Fresh evidence has been ordered by the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland who is investigating the murder case of former Cookstown police man John Torney.
Approval for a Moneymore man’s plans for a new house are being held up because of badgers – a protected species, Cookstown Council heard.
Thieves made off with jewellery and a sum in cash after robbing an elderly couple in their Magherafelt home. Two masked men with handguns were involved in the incident at Moneymore Road.
A single goal from man-of-the-match Andrew Ferguson was enough to lift the Burney Cup for Cookstown High School against BRAI at Blaris.
Deaths: March 10 – Thomas Samuel Heron, Knockmoyle, Cookstown; Alexander Bryson McCarroll, Magherafelt; March 8 – Frances Stockman (nee Marks), Maghera.
25 Years Ago
March 19 1987
POLITICAL parties in Mid-Ulster have already begun preparing themselves for an early General Election following Nigel Lawson’s budget at Westminster.
With party chiefs expecting Mrs Thatcher to go to the country in late May or early June, they are issuing instructions to party workers to be prepared for an early battle at the polls.
Draperstown was the venue for the St Patrick’s Day demonstration by members of the Ancient Order of Hibernians. Organised by the Derry and Antrim Boards of the AOH, it was the only major demonstration in Northern Ireland and was attended by more than 30 divisions and bands.
A retired road sweeper has been honoured by a South Derry village. The people of Bellaghy have presented Matt Higgins with a colour TV set in recognition of his work which has helped win for them the title of the best improved village of Northern Ireland.
Cookstown’s fire siren was to be re-installed following representations by Mid-Ulster MP Rev William McCrea to the NIO.
Tributes were paid to Mr Wilfred Brennen, OBE, FRCS, of Magherafelt, who died. He was one of Ulster’s best known figures in the medical profession for more than 30 years. He was aged 76.
Deaths: March 16 – Henry (Harry) Brown, Cooke Crescent, Cookstown; March 10 – David Glendinning, Upper Golf Terrace, Magherafelt; March 15 – Eleanor Gertrude Hamilton, Galvally, Stewartstown.
50 Years Ago
March 17 1962
A RATHER unusual ceremony took place in Maghera on Wednesday afternoon.
It was the reinstating of an ancient stagecoach mounting stone outside the town’s only hotel. The stone – it is believed to be upwards of 500 years old – was situated on what was the main stagecoach route from Belfast to Derry. In recent years it was a meeting place for the older inhabitants of Maghera. There was resentment expressed following its removal three months ago to allow a road widening scheme to take place.
The Northern Ireland Government is to take steps to intensify its efforts to educate the public about the dangers of smoking and lung cancer.
After a hearing lasting five days, during which 48 Crown witnesses gave evidence, Noel Bradley, the 19-year-old quarry worker, of Dergenagh, Knockloughrim, was at a special court in Magherafelt, returned for trial at Derry Assizes on a charge of murdering his girlfriend, Sheila Matilda Gregg (18), factory worker, of Fortwilliam Cottages, Tobermore, on New Year’s Eve.
Renovations and extensions are to be carried out to the Mid-Ulster Hospital, Magherafelt, costing in the region of £200,000, the Hospital Management Committee heard. The work was due to start in 1965.
Derry, holders of the Dr Lagan Cup, just scraped into this year’s final with a one-point win 0-12 to 2-5 over Monaghan in the semi-final at Dungannon.
Deaths: March 14 – Mary Anderson, Hazel Avenue, Seymour Hill, Dunmurry; March 13 – Alexandra Crooks (infant), Riverside Drive, Blackhill, Cookstown; March 15 – John Kelly, The Laurels, Eary, Stewartstown.
75 Years Ago
March 13 1937
New post mistress
IT was reported that a sub-post office was being provided for Donaghey and that Mrs R.W. Hardy had been appointed post mistress.
There were no police cases at the monthly Petty Sessions Court in Coagh, the only prosecutions being two brought by the Commissioners of Customs and Excise against Ardboe traders who had been selling cigarettes without having renewed their tobacconist’s licence.
The death occurred at his residence, Cyprus Park, Belfast, of Rev J.W. Sharpe, BA, senior minister of Second Moneymore Presbyterian Church. A native of County Cavan, Mr Sharpe, who was in his 90th year, was acting minister in Moneymore for 47 years and was for 33 years Clerk of the Presbytery of Tyrone.
A sheep, the property of Mr David Barclay, of Ballymacpherson, gave birth to five lambs, all alive.
Cookstown markets: hen eggs, 7d to 7.5d per lb; duck eggs, 1/- per dozen; butter, 11d to 1/- per lb; young pigs, 34/- each down.
Deaths: March 6 – Matthew Bell, Fortview, Church Street, Cookstown; March 6 - Margaret J. Nelson, Dunman, Cookstown; March 8 – Robert James Kelso, Moree House, Rock; March 9 – Rev Simon Edward Foot, Garvary Rectory, late rector of Stranorlar and Meenglas; March 10 – Isabel Macarthur Russell Mitchell, Belfast, at Molesworth Manse, Cookstown, in her 90th year.
100 Years Ago
March 18 1912
COOKSTOWN Urban Council received a memorial signed by three-fourths of the shop keepers, asking that the half holiday be changed from Thursday to Wednesday.
Flax fetched 10/6 per stone in Magherafelt market.
Tyrone Presbytery considered a call from Bushmills congregation to Rev J. F. Anderson, BA, of Sandholes, whom they released.
Deaths: Rev George Steacey Espey, Salem, Magherafelt (curate of Dundonald); Mary Bell, Sandymount, Bellaghy.
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