Chaos for holiday makers – 1989
AROUND 50 local holiday makers were caught in the centre of the airline chaos which affected international flights to and from the continent.
Ignatius Sally, proprietor of Silverwing Travel in Omagh said that two flights out of Belfast were disrupted, affecting upwards on 50 passengers from the Omagh area.
The chaos arose when the Spanish airline company, Hispania, went into liquidation. Five of the company’s aircraft were seized, leaving thousands of tourists in limbo.
“We were all taken by surprise by the Hispania affair and obviously a lot of people were annoyed at the delays. Thankfully everything was brought under control and the flights were rearranged,” he said.
“I must stress, however, that the whole incident was out of the control of the tour operators and everything possible was done under the circumstances.
Fire resources ‘stretched’
OMAGH Fire Brigade’s resources are being stretched to breaking point as the heatwave takes its toll and records the summer of 1989 as one of the worst fire periods locally in recent memory. During the past week alone, firemen have been working flat out in gruelling conditions, dealing with a total of 48 calls to all parts of the Omagh district where the countryside is ‘tinder-dry.’
“This has been one of our busiest years ever and in fact it is believed to be one of the worst periods we have experienced in 25 years, said local station officer, Colin Mackrell.
The dramatic increase in gorse, bog and grass fire calls has stretched resources.
Omagh balloon lands in France – 1964
ONE day within the last three weeks, M Louis Delafontaine in Senantes, Oise, northern France picked up a spent balloon near his home with a printed tag attached.
He discovered that it had been launched from Omagh by members of the Round Table at the Omagh Show. He promptly stamped and posted it and won £5 for returning the balloon which had travelled the longest distance.
The buyer of the balloon at the show, MValeria Charleton, Derry, Road, also won £5 for first prize.
The balloon race was organised by the Round Table in aid of the Guide Dogs for the Blind and in all 87 balloons were recovered out of nearly 1,000 sent up.
They came from France, England and Wales, as well as many parts of Ireland. The biggest number of returns came from Armagh and Down, and a large batch from north Wales, as there was a strong north-west wind blowing at the time.
The tags were attached in three languages – English, French and German.
Posting books to students
CONCERN that the library’s service to students might become less effective because of rising postage costs have been expressed by Miss Hilda H Tillie, Tyrone’s county librarian.
She said, “Books are chiefly posted to students who must find this convenient service also a somewhat expensive one. It is to be hoped that no-one is prevented from applying for books for this reason. It might well be considered that it is part of the library service to send them post-paid.”
Castlederg cottage rents – 1939
A MEETING of Castlederg Rural Council discussed the fixing of rents of labourers’ cottages, with a report being submitted by J McAskie and Thomas McGoldrick who had been charged with investigating the issue.
The report recommended that the rents be fixed at three shillings and six pence a week. This would mean a deficit of nearly two shillings per cottage per year or a total deficit on the 42 cottages within the area of £3 10 shillings.
Mr Young said that it would not be fair that there should be a standard rent for all localities. The rents, he said, should be fixed according to the nature of the district in which the houses were situated. He added that it was not too high a rent when the amount of money being spent on erecting the cottages was taken into consideration. Joseph McAskie said in his opinion 3s 6d was an exorbitant rent to charge a working man.
It was decided to fix the rent at 3s and 6d and to ask the ministry for the regrouping of cottages throughout the entire district and that the rents for all the cottages be revised according to their location.
Bombs in England
A SPECIAL emergency measure, introduced by the British Government as a result of the recent bombings and other incidents, provides drastic powers for the Home Secretary.
The main provisions are aimed at preventing further acts of violence designed to influence public opinion or government policy with respect to Irish affairs and will remain in place for two years.
Tyrone town in turmoil – 1914
EXTRAORDINARY scenes occurred in the town of Newtownstewart on the night of Monday, July 13, after the Twelfth celebrations had terminated, or perhaps, it would be more correct to say while they were in progress.
From the particulars disclosed in the police court, it appears that the Unionists – a large number of whom seem to belong to the rowdy class – were gathered in groups about the streets of the town until a late hour of the night.
Incidents of a disorderly nature occurred from time to time, necessitating the presence of police on the streets.
One of those incidents was nothing less than the pursuit of a young man, who was known to be an Irish volunteer, by a mob of about 20 rowdies.
He was followed into the yard and surrounded by the ‘heroes’ with the result that he had to seek refuge in a house and ultimately escape through the front door, when he sought the assistance of the police.
John McGonigle told a special sitting of the magistrates said that he was followed into the yard at Methodist Street where he was surrounded by a ‘mob of 20.’
Later on, an excited crowd of unionists gathered in another part of the town and had to be dispersed by the police.
The cases were dismissed against a number of men when they were heard by magistrates. The incidents aroused widespread concerns around the neighbourhood.