Volume 6 Issue 1 Spring 2009 Online Edition
CEMETERY UPDATE by Tony Hegarty
you will not have heard anything for the past year about Belfast City
Council’s cemetery provisions this matter is still not concluded
to our satisfaction and we would ask you to carefully read this article.
Firstly a quick recap: In February 2007 the Planning Appeals Commission
removed the proposal to zone land at Drumbeg for a cemetery from the Draft
BMAP. At this time Belfast City Council had identified two alternative
sites at Nutts Corner and Lisleen (which is close to Roselawn).
I have set out the next part of the article as two Points.
December 2007 we wrote to Belfast City Council seeking confirmation that
they were no longer considering the Drumbeg site for a cemetery. I quote
from their reply:
“The Council can only confirm at this time that, as stated
above, that Drumbeg B is no longer one of the sites on the shortlist for
the development of a future cemetery, in the context of the Council developing
ONE cemetery for the metropolitan area.” Note I have put
ONE in capitals. The wording of their answer is very specific and I will
refer to this below
Knowing that they were investigating the alternative sites we left it
to November 2008 when we wrote to enquire about the work carried out on
these sites and an estimated date of completion. The reply we received
stated that the Council and its consultants have been preparing its technical
specification etc and a masterplan for both sites. In short they are intending
to commence their Tier 3 tests in February 2009 and these should take
approximately 16 months to complete. We would assume that upon completion
of the tests that the consultants will prepare a report with recommendations
for Belfast City Council to adopt. It is therefore highly likely that
this process will be completed by late 2010 or early 2011 that is assuming
that either one or both of these sites are suitable for development as
However what happens if both these sites are unsuitable for a
Belfast City Council would be back to the drawing board. They would not
have a site to develop as a cemetery and would have to find an alternative
to meet their burial requirements.
If we go back to the commencement of this process in the 1990s Belfast
City Council had two options. Option one to develop one large cemetery
– Option two to develop a number of smaller cemeteries around the
perimeter of the city. They would probably have to revisit option two
and we believe one of the sites could be Drumbeg. We also believe that
if established their original plans could be back on the table and the
cemetery would over the years grow and grow.
Now if you go back to Point 1 above and read their reply in bold you
will see our concern. Belfast City Council has only confirmed that we
will not be the one cemetery option.
We would like to be in a position to say that this community is no longer
under threat but this is not the case and we believe that the earliest
this will happen is by early 2011, that is assuming that one of the sites
presently being assessed is suitable for development as a cemetery.
We are very aware of our responsibility to this community as you have
entrusted us with funds to fight any proposal by Belfast City Council
to develop a cemetery at Drumbeg. Whilst there is little we can do at
present we will keep the situation under review and will report any developments
to the community.
If you wish to have any further clarification you can contact Tony on
90 621 865
Anti Bogus Calls:
A 'Quick Check' scheme has been launched.
It is aimed at reducing distraction burglaries and whilst it is geared
primarily towards the more vulnerable in our community, it can be used
by everyone. It is simple to use and works as follows:
A bogus / genuine caller arrives at the door of a person's home.
The householder requests the caller to wait outside and asks for their
name and the name of the company they represent.
The householder calls the Quick Check Freephone number 0800 013 22 90.
The call is answered 24/7 by the 'Quick Check' team.
Quick Check have direct lines to the main utility suppliers (eg Phoenix
Gas, Water Service etc).
Keeping the householder on the line, Quick Check ask the company if that
person works for them and should be calling with that householder today.
If the response is 'Yes' the householder is advised to check ID carefully
before admitting the caller (or given the option to reschedule the visit
when a friend or family member can be present).
If the answer is 'No', Quick Check will immediately contact the police
stating they believe they have a bogus caller at the householder's address
and advise the householder to keep the caller out.
Switch on of Christmas
Tree Lights by Peter McBrien
wonderful night was had by the many residents who came to the switching
on of the Christmas tree lights by Lisburn Mayor, Councillor Ronnie Crawford
at Drumbeg Orange Hall. The young and young at heart waited eagerly for
the arrival of the great man himself - Santa Claus. Santa duly arrived
courtesy of Mark McNeice's, Drum House Nurseries' “sleigh”
to a rousing reception. Santa came with good things for all present. Music
for the evening was courtesy of 1st Old Boys band. The carol singing was
led by the Mayor. Welcome refreshments were provided by Jack Moffatt assisted
by committee members. This family event was voted a great night by all
by Peter McBrien
There was an excellent turn out by local Drumbeg residents in St, Patrick’s
church hall for the infotainment and information evening run by
community officers from PSNI in conjunction with our Local Neighbourhood
Watch volunteers. The importance of home security and being extra vigilant
at all times was conveyed by several sketches enacted by PSNI personnel
advising of the different scenarios that would-be burglars can go to in
an attempt to gain entry to our homes and valuables. The message came
across very clearly that these devious people can be very cunning using
several different disguises to gain entry to our property which can cause
such misery to the householder. The event was well received and the feedback
from the evening has been very positive.
Winter Bus Trip
by Margaret Hegarty
One wet and windy day last October, two buses full of eager shoppers left
Drumbeg for The Outlet Shopping Mall at Banbridge. Despite having to dodge
in and out of shops in the terrible rain everyone had a very enjoyable
time. Many of us scooped great bargains for ourselves and for Christmas
presents leaving us with heavy shopping bags, lighter purses and battered
credit cards. Afterwards we had an enjoyable lunch in The Belmont Hotel
in Banbridge before returning home.
Summer Bus Trip
Our next outing is planned for Tuesday 9th June 2009. We plan to visit
the Planetarium in Armagh and have lunch in the City hotel in Armagh.
We will probably visit Oxford Island for coffee on our way there and if
the weather is suitable, we might have a walk here and enjoy the pleasant
If you are interested in joining us, contact Margaret. Tel. 9062 1865
CONGRATULATIONS to Brian Bloomfield on being awarded an MBE in the New
Year’s Honours for services to rugby.
DDRA AGM REPORT
by David Watson
The Drumbeg Residents’ Association AGM was held in the Orange Hall
in November 2009. About forty local residents attended which is about
the norm for these events. I always find it somewhat disappointing that
of all the homes in the Drumbeg area we rarely have more then 10% represented
at such events. Maybe those of us involved in the committee should feel
comforted in that it may be seen to reflect that we are doing something
right. However there is always the nagging doubt that we as a community
continue to be rather lethargic, and disengaged from the changing world
around us: indeed that there is little or nothing that small local communities
can do to deflect or influence "the inevitable", whatever that
is? Then there is always the thought that individuals feel they might
be "elected' onto the committee against their will if they come along!
Having been a committee member for some years I am more concerned that
the association activities are directed by the community at large; that
we are aware of worries and aspirations of those who live in the area
so that all of us can best direct our efforts and resources at what the
community see as targets.
the formal business of the meeting we were given an overview of the Lagan
Valley Regional Park by one of its rangers Mr. Brendan O’Connor.
The LVRP is the only one of its kind in Northern Ireland and covers some
4000 acres. Drumbeg is fortunate to lie along its edge and so have protected
habitat right on its doorstep. It was heartening to hear that investment
and improvement of the Park continues even in these rather difficult economic
conditions. Mr. O’Connor also invited the community to get involved
in some of the Park activities and informed us that resources such as
bulbs were available to improve the Park area in and around Drumbeg. Following
a uestion and answer session Mr. O’Connor received a warm round
Following the guest speaker the business meeting commenced with the normal
round of reports and summaries from the Association officers. The main
item of business discussed was the acceptance of the new constitution.
We have been required to modernise and update the original document as
local and central legislation for control of groups like ours has evolved.
The result is sadly an increasingly cumbersome and unwieldy document.
Many of the new provisions concern aspects of functions which are not
relevant to us e.g. building and property ownership, employment of staff
and investments but which must be included - 'just in case'. We are grateful
for the support Lisburn City Council offered in making the necessary adjustments
to the original.
There was also some discussion of the current position with regard to
the Cemetery project which although it still simmers away is gradually
becoming more unlikely. Concern was expressed about criminal activity
and building in this area.
The final part of the meeting was the election of committee members for
the following year. The Rev. Devenney kindly acted as Chairman for this
and the process passed off smoothly.
LANDFILL SITE AT DRUMBO by Tony Hegarty
We have received some concerns from residents on the possible impact that
the proposed landfill site at Drumbo would have on Drumbeg in particular
on traffic on the Drumbeg Road.
We understand that the a planning application has been lodged to develop
phase 1 of a 3 phase land fill site. There has been a campaign in Drumbo
village against this proposal culminating in a public meeting a couple
of weeks ago. The site is to be used as a dump for demolished buildings
in the general Belfast area. We understand that it will also include the
dumping of contaminated soil. If approved it could be assumed that lorries
carrying building rubble from South Belfast could travel along the Drumbeg
Road to Drumbo. We are not aware of the number of vehicles due to arrive
at the site or the number that could be expected to use the Drumbeg Road.
The COMMUNITY SERVICE
will be held on Sunday 14th June 2009 at 11am in St Patrick’s Parish
Church. All denominations welcome. The speaker will be Dr. Billy Nelson.
The collection will be in aid of the Northern Ireland Kidney Research
DRA ANNUAL SHOW
previously – DRA Flower and Vegetable Show. Will be held on Saturday
5th September 2009. New Classes Have been added: PHOTOGRAPHY