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June 5, 2008
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Prompting Pride in Our Rural Villages
Wednesday 4 June 2008 at 11.00 a.m.
Rathfriland Bowling Pavilion
11.00 a.m. Registration, Refreshments, Traditional Music Entertainment
11.30 a.m. Introduction, Ms Pamela Arthurs, Chief Executive, East Border Region Committee. Welcome, Cllr John Hanna, Chairperson Banbridge District Council, Vice Chair East Border Region Committee
11.35 a.m. Overview of "Promoting Pride in Our Rural Villages," Ms Pamela Arthurs, chief executive, East Border Region Committee. Viewing of DVD about how the scheme progressed.
11.55 a.m. Tallanstown "An Example of Tidy Towns Best Practice," Mr Richard Barry, chairman, Louth Tidy Town Committee
12.05 p.m. "Village Planning and Development Challenges," Dr Michael Murray, QUB Planning Department.
12.20 p.m. Saintfield "A Rural Village Experience" Mr Gerry Lowe, Chairman of Saintfield Regeneration Ltd.
12.30 p.m. "Overview of Future Funding Opportunities," Mrs Dette Hughes, Development Officer, East Border Region INTERREG IIIA Partnership
12.40 p.m. Keynote Address, Minister for Social Development, Ms Margaret Ritchie, MLA
12.50 p.m. Close, Cllr Terry Brennan, Louth County Council, Chairman, East Border Region Committee.
1.0 p.m. Lunch
The agenda was followed assiduously. Lunch was consumed within the pavilion but the speakers were all listened to by the audience of around 100 souls seated in a fully equipped tent in the grounds outside. There is a wonderful view of the Mournes from the grounds of Rathfriland Bowling Club but weather conditions yesterday were not as good as they have been in recent weeks so the view was restricted.
The project involved 8 councils and 48 villages on either side of the border.
Highlight of the project was an adult education course organised by Southern Regional College, Newry Campus (Quayside), in planting pots and window boxes and in the construction of hanging baskets. The course also involved a bus trip to Scarva and to Knockbridge. Both of these villages have been considerably enhanced and beautified as a result of the concerted voluntary effort of residents.
The celebration event was a great success, informative and enjoyable. The DVD was great even if some of the stars in it were old men.
A fitting end to a marvellous and meticulously organised and realised project.