Maternity unit to close?
CONCERN has spread in Omagh that the maternity and gynaecology department at Tyrone County Hospital is to be shut down in a year’s time – a move which has been described as literally taking away the hospital’s “life and limb.”
But the unconfirmed reports that the unit could face the chop in a new shake-up of the National Health Service have been refuted as “nothing more than pure speculation” by the Omagh Unit of Management’s Group Administrator, James Henderson.
However, the UH has learned from a reliable source that there is a proposal under consideration that the unit at the ‘County’ is to close, and that expectant mothers will have to travel to the Erne Hospital in Enniskillen to have their babies.
Elderly people robbed
AN Augher woman was the victim of robbers when intruders broke into her home in the early hours of the morning and stole a number of items.
Police are also investigating an earlier robbery at the home of an elderly lady in the Plumbridge area which occurred last week.
At around 2am, a 76-year-old woman at Favour Royal Road, Augher, was disturbed by a male intruder who shone a torchlight into her face.
He pushed the woman on the bed and told her to lie there and not move. He then ransacked the house.
Afterwards, when he had gone, the woman went downstairs and discovered that some of her valuables had been stolen.
‘Happy Tyrone in 1970’
THE extent of Tyrone’s future road construction programme was disclosed when the Minister of Home Affairs, William Craig, attended a special meeting of the County Council in Omagh. By 1970 the county will be served by the motorway, and a network of dual carriageway and trunk roads, by-passing many towns and villages.
Commencement dates and the schedule of work announced by the minister are:
Feb 1965 -The Lagehy section of the M1.
June 1965 – Dungannon by-pass and the final stretch of the MI.
October 1965 – Augher by-pass.
October 1965 – Omagh-Dromore road.
December, 1966 – External by-pass of Omagh. This will be so designed as to allow for construction as a dual carriageway in the future.
June, 1967 – Newtownstewart by-pass, and a dual carriage road by-passing Strabane to the Derry boundary.
June, 1968 – Victoria Bridge to Strabane road, consideration to be given to a proposal that it should be dual carriageway.
October, 1968 – By-passes of Clogher, Fivemiletown, Trillick and Kilskeery.
The M1 will be completed at the end of 1966 but consideration of its extension to the Ballygawley roundabout will not be given for five years. Mr Craig told the meeting that the Ministry appreciated the good work being done on the roads in Tyrone. He wished that other counties had done as much in the way of reconstruction.
He also said he did not share the anxiety over the additional traffic that would be put on the roads when the railway closed.
GAA posts thrown in river
POSTS erected in a field at Knockmoyle, near Omagh, for a GAA football match to be played on were pulled up, broken and thrown into an adjacent river on Saturday night.
The discovery was made on Sunday morning when a notice was found posted at the entrance to the field purporting to be signed by local Unionist farmers, and which stated that ‘no Gaelic football would be allowed in the district on a Sunday.’
The farmers, whose names appeared on the notice, subsequently denied all knowledge of it.
The use of the field for the match had been recently given to the Knockmoyle GAA club by a local Unionist farmer named David Wilson.
New posts were erected on Sunday morning, and in the afternoon a large crowd witnessed the match, between Omagh and Knockmoyle teams.
The former won by ten points to three points.
There were no untoward incidents or interferences during the game and the RUC are investigating the removal of the posts.
THE name of the King has disappeared from passports issued by the government of the 26 counties.
In future the passport will request ‘safe passages for citizens of the 26 counties in the name of Eamonn de Valera, Minister for External Affairs.’
Mother and children killed
ONE of the most ghastly tragedies recorded in the annals of the Co Tyrone took place on Saturday morning but a mile or two from the town of Omagh, at a little spot called Ballinamullin. From the details hastily gathered, it would appear that a man named Owen McAleer, who was well known in Omagh and local districts, attracted much remark during the past few days by his extraordinary conduct.
Dr Todd attended him, and as a result of his observations reported the matter to the police.
When two members of the RIC visited the home they discovered to their horror the dead bodies of the man’s wife and two children lying in the laneway near the dwelling house. On making a further search the police constables discovered the body of the husband in a quarry hole.
The previous night Dr Todd had been attending McAleer, and when he heard the horrible news he sent word to the police to go out and arrest McAleer, who had for some years been a patient in the Omagh Lunatic Asylum, and who had recently been drinking heavily. Dr Todd told our representative that they found the bodies lying on the street. The wife and children had been badly beaten in the head with an instrument. The police searched for McAleer, and after about two hours they discovered him lying in a quarry-hole.
He was then dead, and this was about 500 yards from the house. They also found the instruments with which it is believed the murders were committed.
The news of the ghastly tragedy was learned with the greatest dismay in Omagh, where McAleer and his family were well known.