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NEWS REVIEW OF THE YEAR

Published: 28 Dec 2012 12:100 comments

JANUARY: The year began with gale force winds buffeting the county bringing down trees, overturning a four-seater Cessna 172 light aircraft at St Angelo Airport, and lifting part of the roof off ASDA, resulting in the supermarket being closed for one day.

A car hit by a falling tree at Letterbreen - the local driver escaped with injuries to his hands.<<

JANUARY:

The year began with gale force winds buffeting the county bringing down trees, overturning a four-seater Cessna 172 light aircraft at St Angelo Airport, and lifting part of the roof off ASDA, resulting in the supermarket being closed for one day. Florencecourt man, Keith Manley, had a lucky escape when his car was hit by a tree on the Corryglass Road, Letterbreen. The storms also left 1,800 people in the Enniskillen and Belleek areas without electricity.

Former businessman Sean Quinn spoke to the Impartial Reporter after being declared bankrupt in the Republic, claiming that the IBRC want to "destroy" his name and leave him and his family with nothing. He also described his the Quinn Group as "dead and gone".

The parents of six-year-old Marc Elliott who is buried at Cross Cemetery spoke of their relief that Fermanagh District Council performed a u-turn in relation to rules governing grave maintenance. Following a public consultation, the Council decided that families could decide whether they or the council maintain the graves. Damien and Adel Elliott lost their son Marc to the deadly disease Adrenoleukodystrophy in 2010 and had fought quite publicly for the cemetery rules to be amended.

A year after she was seriously injured when an ambulance she was travelling in overturned, consultant anaesthetist Dr. Cathy Armstrong celebrated receiving an award for her commitment to day surgery. The British Association of Day Surgery (BADS) President's Prize for 2011 was awarded to the senior doctor at the Erne Hospital for advancing the cause of day surgery in both Northern Ireland and the Republic. Dr Armstrong said receiving the BADS President's Prize was an encouragement during her recovery.

The New Year also saw Joanna McVey, former proprietor and managing director of the Impartial Reporter, take up the position of High Sheriff for County Fermanagh. "It is a great honour," said the well-known Enniskillen businesswoman, who followed in the footsteps of her grandfather, William Egbert Trimble who also held the ancient office in 1951.

Dungannon fisherman Ian Martin pulled off a remarkable double when he caught the first salmon of the season on the River Drowes for the second year in a row. The previous year it had taken Ian just five minutes and three casts of his fly to catch Ireland's first salmon on the same river.

The first birthday of little Heidi Huey called for special celebration as Heidi had been born 14 weeks before her due date, weighing only one pound and 14 ounces. Her parents Frances and Michael wanted to thank Heidi's medical staff and reassure parents of premature babies that there is a chance of a "happy ending."

Meanwhile, viewers of ITV's 'It'll be Alright on the Night' were shocked to see local character Willie Boyd pop up on screen during a clip from a broadcast by well-known journalist, Liam Creagh, in Lisnaskea.

FEBRUARY:

One of the county's longest established shops, John J. Sloans and Sons Ltd., in Enniskillen celebrated its 100th anniversary this month. The significant milestone was a pleasing achievement for the well-known town-centre establishment which has endured 16 bomb attacks (in its Enniskillen and Lisnaskea premises) and is now navigating the economic downturn.

That downturn was very apparent when a large queue formed outside the Clinton Centre for a recruitment drive organised by the Western Health and Social Care Trust which was seeking porters, cooks, housekeepers and catering staff for the South West Acute Hospital.

Many of those waiting to apply for the porters job arrived inside only to find that the criteria had been increased and they were no longer applicable for the post. One man commented: "Not one person came out and told us in the hours we waited there; we relied on information being fed back to us from people who were inside." The Trust said this was done in order to focus on the most suitable candidates.

The Impartial Reporter took to Twitter and began its exciting Q&A feature which saw locals such as Arlene Foster, Phil Flanagan, Father Brian D'Arcy and Neil Morton answer an array of tweets over the coming months.

Fracking hit the headlines once again as up to 100 demonstrators took to the streets of Enniskillen to protest at news that test drilling for shale gas could start here next year. The protest came after energy company Tamboran Resources revealed that initial studies show there is the potential for the production of up to 2.2 trillion cubic feet of shale gas in Fermanagh.

Country star Nathan Carter's popularity in the county was apparent early in the year with a sell-out gig at the Killyhevlin where fans young and old enjoyed hits from his best-selling albums 'The Way that you Love Me' and 'Time of My Life'. The rising star also featured in the Impartial's Twitter Q&A later in 2012.

In an in-depth interview, UUP MLA Tom Elliott hit out at First Minister Peter Robinson for attending a GAA match, describing it as "tokenism". He also declared the concept of unionist unity as "a pipe dream" and said he was left feeling "hurt and abused" following his very public fallout with assembly colleague, David McNarry (who has since joined the UK Independence Party).

The mother of murdered policeman Ronan Kerr told this paper that those behind her son's killing "need to be brought to justice." Constable Kerr, who was training in Fermanagh, died after a booby-trap bomb exploded under his car in Omagh as he left his apartment to go to work in Enniskillen in April 2011.

MARCH:

The filming of TV series Blandings at Crom estate brought an array of stars to the county including Britain's Got Talent judge David Walliams, Absolutely Fabulous star Jennifer Saunders and Harry Potter's Timothy Spall. While Saunders tweeted photos of Crom, calling it "a little piece of heaven", General Manager Noel Johnston complained that local tourism authorities had done "absolutely nothing" to promote the filming of the show.

The tragic death of 44-year-old father-to-be Brendam Lynam left an Enniskillen family bereft of a loving son and brother and most poignantly his pregnant wife Mairead without a husband and father to their soon to be born first child. The businessman was fondly remembered as a "gifted entrepreneur", a "true gentleman" and a "loyal friend."

Another highly regarded Enniskillen businessman, Gerry Dolan, passed away this month after an illness. He was described as "a great gentleman" and "a loving person who left his mark wherever he went."

Two Mount Lourdes students became overnight heroines after they rescued two canoeists from Lough Macnean, close to Corralea Activity Centre. Luckily, Hannah Gillespie (18) and Delphine Leonard (16) had both been trained with the Irish Water Safety Association from a very early age. Hannah heard the couples' calls for help and swam out to rescue them. Delphine, whose parents own the Corralea Activity Centre, then paddled out in her own canoe to lend a hand. "It was just a spur of the moment reaction," Hannah reflected.

Celebration Candles in Ballinamallard had its own cause for celebration as it secured a contract with the new multi-million pound visitor attraction, Titanic Belfast. The Fermanagh-based company is now supplying its Titanic and Maritime Belfast Heritage themed candles to the visitor attraction's gift store.

A Mullaghdun family whose son and brother Terry McGovern lost his battle with cancer in May 2011 received overwhelming support from the farming community in their fundraising venture for the Ulster Cancer Foundation. £75,400 was raised through a raffle for a bullock (which had been delivered by Terry and his father John); £45,000 from donations and a further £30,000 matched by the Northern Bank's Charity partnership initiative.

Committed volunteers and husband-and-wife, Derek and Yvonne Bowles were "humbled and honoured" to be among the torch bearers chosen to carry the Olympic torch on its journey through Enniskillen. The pair are particularly involved in fund-raising for the Horizon West Children's Hospice at Killadeas and were nominated by their son Gary.

APRIL:

The much-anticipated Children's Hospice, Horizon West, officially opened the doors at the beginning of April. Four children were welcomed to the facility which provides planned and emergency short stays, pain and symptom management, day care and complementary therapies for the whole family, including bereavement support. However, the £1.2 million facility cannot operate fully until more funding is committed.

Director of Children's Services Tina McCrossan told the Impartial Reporter that £500,000 a year is needed to run the facility. "If we had that money committed we would be introducing a fuller range of services ... But until we have that money committed, we can only run services on a phased basis," she said.

Tackling drugs has been one of Chief Superintendent Pauline Shield's main achievements, she believes. Speaking to the Impartial Reporter one year into her role as F-District Commander, Shields revealed that she gets greatest satisfaction when the victim of a crime takes the time to thank officers for their help.

The geography of F District has been a challenge, particularly in relation to decisions on police station closures, the Chiefsuperintendent said. The murder of Constable Ronan Kerr had "shocked and horrified" all the officers and staff in the district, who "felt that something like this was a thing of the past."

Over 100 farmers attended information evenings held by the Department of Agriculture and Regional Development to discuss confusion over eligibility for Single Farm Payment. They were told that, for example, fields in which rushes are growing were eligible but not if the land was inaccessible to livestock. This event was held in advance of new farm maps being issued across Northern Ireland.

Fears that a merger between Fermanagh and Omagh District Councils could potentially affect Fermanagh's non-domestic rate and cause the new entity to inherit at least £23 million in debt were discussed at a meeting of local business people.

The Fermanagh Economic Development Organisation (FEDO) pledged to lobby the Assembly for government investment if Fermanagh's business people are to survive.

FEDO Chairman Peter Quinn suggested that the redevelopment of the Erne Hospital as a public sector hub could provide opportunities to attract government agencies. However, "that project in itself would need fairly significant funding."

The Impartial Reporter met with George Marshall, a United States Airforce U-2 pilot, who is married to Eunice Marshall (nee Somerville), originally from Dromore. He explained the responsibility and concentration required to fly the manned spy plane which surveys from 70,000 feet and is one of the world's most difficult aircraft to fly.

"Not only were you in total control of about $150 million worth of airplane and equipment, but you had possibly the President of the USA waiting to make important decisions based on you completing a successful mission, wow, how completely cool and awesome is that?" he stated.

Portora student Ashley Elliott wowed judges on Britain's Got Talent with his skills on the xylophone. Judge David Walliams "loved" the performance and gave it "a billion per cent yes." Simon Cowell also gave him a yes while Alesha Dixon said he would "work better as part of an entire band."

MAY:

May saw The Impartial Reporter win the hotly contested Weekly Newspaper of the Year Award at the CIPR Media Awards 2012. Impartial Reporter photographer John McVitty was named as Regional Photographer of the Year and reporter Rodney Edwards was shortlisted for Weekly Journalist of the Year.

Enniskillen's Gavin Noble secured triathlon qualification for the London Olympic Games in August despite having to pull out of the qualification round in Madrid due to a niggle during the run. Prior to this race, Noble had performed sufficiently well in the lengthy qualification process to seal his spot and achieve his long held ambition of competing in the Olympics.

Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill announced that the headquarters of the Northern Ireland Forest Service is to be relocated to Fermanagh from Belfast. The move was described as "a substantial boost" to the county's economy by Chairman of the Fermanagh Economic Development Organisation Peter Quinn.

Fermanagh's economy is more dependant on agriculture than other local authority areas therefore "it is both reasonable and logical that Fermanagh should be chosen as the location for the headquarters of the Forest Service," he believes.

The new head of Arts and Culture at Fermanagh District Council Ian Davidson pledged to raise the profile of the county's heritage. Originally from London, Ian was appointed to the newly created role in May and was tasked with working alongside the Ardhowen Theatre, Enniskillen Castle Museum and the Higher Bridges Gallery to manage and develop cultural provision.

A Freedom of Information request was sent by Fermanagh District Council to the Western Health Trust because councillors had still not seen a detailed Service Delivery Operational Plan for the South West Hospital which was due to open on 21 June. "It is typical bureaucracy. They are very loathe to make commitments to us," commented Sinn Fein Councillor Stephen Huggett.

Marathon achievements were celebrated by two local men during the month of May. Ballinamallard's Gary Kernaghan completed the Ballinamallard 10K one year on from taking a seizure during the race and discovering that he was suffering from a brain tumour. Following treatment, the father-of-three began training in January and felt "grand" after completing the run in 50 minutes and 45 seconds.

Meanwhile, Clones farmer Cyril Rusk set off to complete one leg of the Belfast marathon, accompanied with his daughter Lydia. Cyril then decided to keep going and completed the entire marathon in five hours and 40 minutes. "I wanted to complete it for my own satisfaction," disclosed the 63-year-old, who had undertaken the challenge to raise money for the restoration of St. Tighernach's Church, which is undergoing its first major repairs since it was built at the Diamond of Clones in 1822.

Huge interest was generated when Inisliroo Island on Upper Lough Erne was put on the market. Once home to generations of the Maguire family, most recently Celia Maguire who always extended a friendly welcome at her cottage, was advertised as a "once in a lifetime opportunity to snap up your very own Irish getaway." Inisliroo, also locally known as Rabbit Island, is located just a short crossing by boat from Knockninny Quay near Derrylin.

The month ended with temperatures in Fermanagh rising to 24.7C, higher than some European destinations including Crete Cannes and Tunis.

JUNE:

The visit of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth was undoubtedly the highlight this month. Thousands lined the streets of Enniskillen as the Queen and Prince Philip attended a special diamond jubilee service of thanksgiving in St. Macartin's Church of Ireland Cathedral before taking the historic walk across the road to be warmly greeted in St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church.

The Queen and Prince Philip were met at the front of St. Macartin's by the Rector and Dean of Clogher, the Very Reverend Kenneth Hall. After the service, the Queen met privately with families of the Enniskillen bomb victims and spent a few minutes in the Deanery. Then came the historic walk across to St. Michael's, where she was greeted by the Parish Priest Very Reverend Canon Peter O'Reilly. Inside the church, the Queen and the Duke met about 90 representatives from various walks of life in the community. These included Editor of the Impartial Reporter Denzil McDaniel. Upon being introduced, Her Majesty smiled and quipped "impartial reporter; I didn't know there was such a thing." The momentous occasion also saw Queen Elizabeth officially open the South West Acute Hospital.

Over 650 staff between the old Erne hospital site and the new £276 million facility were involved in the transfer of 78 patients to the new site. The move was dubbed by Western Trust Deputy Chief Executive Joe Lusby as a "moment in history".

Fermanagh's football star Kyle Lafferty married his beauty queen partner in Scotland this month. The Glasgow Rangers man married ex-Miss Scotland, Nicola Mimnagh in a ceremony at St. Margaret's Catholic Church in Johnstone, Renfrewshire. Among the guests was the couple's six-month-old son, Taylor who wore a mini kilt to match his dad's outfit.

A routine trip to the optician's resulted in 38-year-old Ballinamallard man Gordon Beatty being diagnosed with a melanoma in his eye. He spoke to the Impartial Reporter about adapting to his new life without sight in one eye and how he is determined to live and "enjoy everything that life has to give."

Former Fermanagh billionaire Sean Quinn, his son Sean and nephew Peter were found guilty for contempt of court for putting assets beyond the reach of Anglo-Irish Bank. In Dublin's High Court, Judge Elizabeth Dunne said the family's behaviour was deceitful and blatantly dishonest. As Sean Quinn senior left court he claimed: "I am not dishonest."

Sinn Fein selected Dungannon Councillor Bronwyn McGahan to replace Michelle Gildernew as MLA for Fermanagh and South Tyrone. A former republican prisoner, McGahan was elected to Dungannon Council in May 2011. She has a degree in Peace and Conflict Studies and a Masters in Computing and Information Systems.

JULY:

A joyous event, captured in the first edition of July, was the arrival of the first set of twins in the maternity department at the newly opened South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen. Teacher Claire McAloon, of St. Patrick's Primary, Derrygonnelly gave birth to twins - brother and sister Pearse and Teagan - on June 30. Thrilled parents Claire and husband Leo have an older daughter Tara who was 'just over the moon'.

Meanwhile, the end of the school summer term saw several members of the county's teaching profession take retirement. Among them was Glenn McNeill, Vice Principal at Portora Royal, Enniskillen; his early retirement came after 36 years' service at Portora, where he spent his entire teaching career.

Early this month, the seaside Twelfth celebration in Rossnowlagh, Co. Donegal, attracted one of the largest attendances ever. The clouds remained overhead as 50 lodges from Donegal, Cavan, Leitrim and Monaghan, as well as visiting Orangemen, participated in the parade, traditionally held on the Saturday before the main Twelfth parades - enabling lodges in the Irish Republic to attend the Twelfth demonstrations in Northern Ireland.

Irish Tourism Minister Leo Varadkar was one of an estimated 20,000 people who watched the Twelfth in Enniskillen on July 12 - a first for an Irish Minister. Mr. Varadkar, who was hosted by his Tourism counterpart in the North, Tourism Minister and Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA Arlene Foster joined First Minister Peter Robinson and his wife Iris at the flagship event. Speaking to the Impartial Reporter, the Minister said the day provided the opportunity to explore the potential for future cross-border tourism ventures.

A team of 14 people from Rossorry Parish Church flew out this month on their mission trip to Swaziland. The team led by the Rector, the Rev. Arthur Barrett were spending over two weeks working with schools in the Diocese of Swaziland, involved in building and refurbishment projects.

Keri Robinson, 21, was unveiled as this year's Lady of the Lake. The major event kicked off in Irvinestown with hundreds of people taking to the streets to await the arrival of the festival's leading lady. Given this year's festival had an Olympic theme, Keri arrived on board an Olympic chariot.

Another popular annual summer event was the Clogher Valley Show at Augher which once again attracted a large attendance and proved a winner for a number of local livestock exhibitors.

An exhibition entitled Buttermilk Point: The Musical Life of Joan Trimble (1915-2000) was launched by her daughter Joanna McVey at Fermanagh County Museum. The exhibition celebrated the musical legacy of Joan Trimble, a renowned pianist and accomplished composer and former proprietor of The Impartial Reporter newspaper.

'Sean Quinn: We are 'devastated' over son's jailing' was the front page headline of The Impartial Reporter, July 26 (the last edition of the month.) Bankrupt former businessman Sean Quinn said he and his wife Patricia were 'devastated' at the jailing of their only son Sean Junior in the previous week. In an exclusive interview with this newspaper, Mr. Quinn who had avoided jail for then reflected on a week which saw his only son go to prison for contempt of court and his former Fermanagh GAA star nephew going on the run.

AUGUST:

PETER Quinn told The Impartial Reporter in August that his son Peter junior would be staying in Northern Ireland and would not be joining his cousin Sean junior in Mountjoy Prison because he would face "pre-determined decisions based on corruption" if he returned to the Republic.

Peter junior was spotted for the first time in public when he attended two Gaelic matches in Kinawley and Enniskillen. His appearances at the games sparked considerable anger in the south.

Meanwhile in Ballyconnell, thousands of Pro-Quinn supporters -- including Fr. Brian D'Arcy and GAA's Mickey Harte -- voiced their support for the Quinns at a rally held in their honour.

In a series of special reports on the first 50 days of the new South West Acute Hospital, staff members claimed that some nurses were walking up to 15 miles during one shift and were left over-worked, exhausted and missing lunch breaks. In response to the criticism, Deputy Chief Executive of the Western Health and Social Care Trust, Joe Lusby said the Trust would set up a formal employee feedback system.

'Welcome to Northern Ireland' signs erected in Border areas of Fermanagh during August received anything but a warm reception when vandals removed some of them. Ulster Unionist MLA Tom Elliott vowed to report the 'theft' to police.

Chief Inspector Sue Steen told this newspaper that "significant work" was needed after a 12-month report into police performance revealed that a number of targets such as reducing thefts had been missed.

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson was told in no uncertain terms that there was "no support" for the Council merger with Omagh in 2015 by protesters waiting for him outside Enniskillen Townhall.

The son of Trillick businessman Eric Irvine who was killed in a tragic quad bike accident at the sawmill he owned close to his home spoke of the pride he had in knowing that his father's "determination" and "strong business head" had inspired others around him to succeed.

Alan, who along with his sister Jill, took on the sawmill over 20 years ago, told The Impartial Reporter he was proud of the man he described as his "hero".

It was all go in Kesh as the action-packed Maid of Lough Erne Kesh Festival took place, with new 'Maid' Jemma Walker taking up her title and in Enniskillen the streets were filled with a festival buzz when the Meet Me Down the Town Festival got under way.

Police launched an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the sudden death of 18-year-old Julianne Williams whose body was found at a house in the Irvine's Crescent area of the town.

Former Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP Ken Maginnis quit the Ulster Unionist Party after 50 years claiming there was no room for independent or logical thinking within the party.

And esteemed author Enda O'Brien opened the International Enniskillen Beckett Festival by taking part in an "In Conversation" event at the Ardowen Theatre while Duke Special performed a sell-out show at Darling Street's Methodist Church.

SEPTEMBER:

The month began with tragedy with the news that a father of four had died as a result of an accident at his home. Martin Morgan of Fivemiletown died on the day of his 25th wedding anniversary. The 49-year-old died in hospital three days after the accident at the family home in Cleen Park. He and his wife Geraldine had joined with family and friends the day before the accident to mark the occasion at a celebratory gathering in their home.

Meanwhile, Enniskillen wakeboader Sian Hurst won gold in the European and African championships in Kiev in the Ukraine. She had spent the summer training in exotic locations like Florida in the USA.

Bellanaleck mum Jennifer Keys spoke out for the retention of paediatric heart surgery in Belfast. With a complex heart condition from birth, her son Alfie had to undergo open heart surgery at just four days old in Birmingham Hospital. All of Alfie's four operations to date have been carried out in Birmingham due to the severity of his condition but if the proposal to close down the local heart service in Belfast goes ahead, all families across Northern Ireland will be faced with the same ordeal.

The plan for a public service hub on the site of the former Erne Hospital edged a step closer when the First and Deputy First Minister visited Enniskillen to hear about the multi-million pound redevelopment project. Mr. Peter Robinson and Mr. Martin McGuinness left "reflecting on how to take the next steps forward". The project is envisaged as developing on a phased basis with anchor tenant the South West College planned as being first on site with a campus fit for the 21st century. Others such as the Jobs and Benefits office, Enniskillen Library, the PSNI, the Court Service and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive may follow.

It was also revealed that Fermanagh people who poured tens of thousands of pounds into a suspected Ponzi have lost most of their money. the full extend of the scheme operated by Frenchman Francois de Dietrich through his company ETIC Solutions was only made public in September. PWC, the official liquidators of ETIC revealed 570 invested almost 20 million euro in the scheme. It also confirmed that it found "no evidence that the company performed any genuine business activity".

The seriousness of the illegal drug problem was laid bare with the revelation that drug users in Fermanagh are getting hooked on a horse tranquiliser in a bid to get high. Quantities of ketamine, a powerful anaesthetic used in human and horse surgery, have been seized by police in the area. The drug -- known as Special K -- can have lethal consequences.

Father Brian D'Arcy was a special guest at Enniskillen Rotary Club, where he was the surprise recipient of Rotary's highest honour, the Paul Harris Fellowship Award.

The Lough Erne Golf Resort, the only five star resort in Ireland, was put on the market for £10 million. The world-class resort was launched on to the property market on the instructions of Mr. John Hansen and Mr. Stuart Irwin of KPMG, joint administrators of Castle Hume Leisure Limited. In May 2011 the Resort, which had been developed by Mr. Jim Treacy, went into adminstration after bank of Scotland (Ireland) called in the administrators.

The funeral took place in Newtownbutler of a 30-year-old local man who died in a a motorcycle accident. Aidan Murphy had been in Australia for almost two years when the fatal accident took place in Gladstone in Queensland, north of Brisbane. A facebook campaign was launched by friends to raise funds to help assist with the costs of bringing his body home to rest.

A protest took place outside Enniskillen Townhall after Fermanagh District Council became the first local authority across Northern Ireland to allow the Sinn Fein motion on gay marriage to fall by nine Unionist votes to Sinn Fein's eight. DUP Councillor Cyril Brownlee threw a letter he was given calling on Councillors to reconsider their vote back at the protesters.

-There was shock and immense sadness at the death of Brian Og Maguire, tragically killed in a work accident just days after he helped his club Lisnaskea Emmetts secure their place in the final of the Fermanagh Senior Championship for the first time since 1996. At his funeral in Lisnaskea. mourners heard that the 24-year-old led his life in such a manner that he was "the only copy of the gospel" that many people will ever see.

Fermanagh's Niall McShea swapped rally driving for the big screen to become a stunt double for Ray Winstone in the new Sweeney movie. The rally driver, who won the World Production Rally Championship in 2004 and also works on Top Gear, was behind the wheel for dramatic car scenes for the blockbuster film.

OCTOBER:

A seized property portfolio worth over £2million in Fermanagh went on sale this month. All 16 NAMA(National Asset Management Agency) properties for sale by private treaty, were repossessed from the ill-fated house building firm, GP Williams Ltd at the end of last year. Local estate agent, Montgomery Finlay and Co were being instructed by Tom Keenan as administrator. The properties included housing developments and sites at Lisnarick, Enniskillen, Ballinamallard and Irvinestown.

A murder trial began this month arising from the death of toddler, Millie Martin. Barry McCarney from Trillick, was accused of murder, sexual assault and causing the child grievious bodily harm. The child's mother, Rachael Martin was accused of failing to protect her daughter and neglecting her.

Fermanagh District Council chief executive, Brendan Hegarty, told councillors that the clock was ticking to have the former Erne Hospital site developed into a public services hub as one of the interested parties, South West College, had a limited timeframe to redevelop because of funding requirements.

Two Enniskillen clergy, Dean Kenneth Hall of St. Macartin's Cathedral, Enniskillen and Canon Peter O'Reilly, of St. Michael's Church, received an invitation from Her Majesty, The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, to attend a Diamond Jubilee reception in Buckingham Palace.

Members of Aughakillymaude Mummers formed a guard of honour at the funeral of well-known and highly regarded Fermanagh artist, Gordon Johnson who was famed for his model making. The former teacher and writer died peacefully at his home, aged 76.

Fermanagh farmers, councillors and tourism representatives told the Northern Ireland Assembly's Environment Committee in Enniskillen, that a National Park would not be in the best interests of Fermanagh. They were responding to proposals by the Environment Minister, Alex Attwood to establish national parks to be selected from the Mournes, Glens of Antrim, Causeway Coast and Fermanagh Lakelands. The farmers, represented by the Ulster Farmers' Union, who made the strongest representations said a national park would mean many restrictions for farmers.

Facebook and Twitter tributes were paid to a 15-year-old schoolboy, suggesting that he had been a victim of bullying. Joshua Gallagher, a pupil at Erne Integrated College, was found dead at his home. Police confirmed they were investigating postings on social media sites which suggested he was bullied. It was the first in a series of sudden deaths and the community in Fermanagh was described as being 'numb' following the deaths.

The Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, hosted a meeting in Dublin of a delegation of nine people from Fermanagh families who were victims of the Troubles. They were accompanied by Fermanagh and South Tyrone MLA, Arlene Foster.

A mother, Catherine Williamson, tragically died in a house fire at Windmill Heights, Enniskillen. It was revealed that she had spoken to her daughter just a few hours before.

The Spirit of Enniskillen Trust marked its 25th year with a special event in Enniskillen just weeks before the anniversary of the Remembrance Day bomb. Mrs. Joan Wilson, widow of Senator Gordon Wilson, said she was thrilled that the Trust established from his inspirational words, was still flourishing.

Thousands attended a rally in support of Sean Quinn as he faced a court case. Meanwhile his son, Sean Quinn Junior, lost his contempt appeal.

A new BBC documentary, "The Turbulent Priest," revealed how Father Brian D'Arcy coped with news that he had been censored by the Vatican.

NOVEMBER:

The big news in November was exclusively revealed by the Impartial Reporter with the news that G8 Summit will be held at the five star Lough Erne Resort in Fermanagh.

Indeed, only five days after Julie Kenwell's world exclusive, Prime Minister David Cameron was in Northern Ireland announcing his chosen location as Fermanagh.

"I want to show the world what a beautiful place Northern Ireland is," Mr Cameron said after enjoying a quick flight to the resort. As such then, Barack Obama and the rest of the G8 will be descending upon Fermanagh on June 17 and 18, 2013 when the eyes of the world will focus on our little county in what should be an unprecedented opportunity to showcase the county.

Enniskillen fell silent on Thursday, November 8 at 10.43am to remember all those killed and injured in the Enniskillen bomb which exploded exactly 25 years ago to that day and time. A service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance was held at the War Memorial and this was followed by a church service at St. Macartin's Cathedral as the 12 people who died and the many that were injured in the atrocity were remembered. First minister Peter Robinson and Secretary of State Theresa Villiers were among those to attend this sombre occasion.

Elsewhere there was shock in the local community following the death of a 13 month old baby girl from menningitis. It is understood the young girl was from the Lithuanian community and was living in Enniskillen. The Public Health Agency said that the local community was not at risk from infection.

In a forthright and revealing interview, Fermanagh and South Tyrone MP, Michelle Gildernew spoke for the first time about her battle with depression and how being asked by her party to stand aside both as a MLA in the assembly and as a chairperson of the health committee has had an impact on her mental health. Miss Gildernew was roundly applauded for speaking out so publicly on the issue of mental health.

The 13th annual Margaret Wilson Awards again highlighted all the good work ongoing in the community of Irvinestown with Marian Faris winning this year's award for her work organising fundraisers for cancer charities.

There was shock when it was revealed that 'illegitimate money lenders' were operating in Fermanagh and that one man who took out a loan for £100,000 and repaid half only to find out he owed basically the whole amount to due extortionate interest rates. Police Inspector Roy Robinson warned against taking out these loans.

Tributes were paid to Lisbellaw huntsman William McClean who died following an accident while hunting in Cavan. Mr McClean, who was described as a "kind and generous gentleman" was rushed to Cavan hospital after his fall but lost his fight for life six days later.

DECEMBER:

A jury at Dungannon Crown Court unanimously convicted 33-year-old Barry McCarney from Woodvale Crescent in Trillick of murdering and sexually and physically abusing 15-month-old toddler Millie Martin in 2009.

The jury of nine men and three women also unanimously acquitted Millie's 28-year-old mother Rachael Martin of Main Street, Kesh of involvement in her daughter's death. In so doing, a trial that had shocked and saddened in equal measure came to an end.

In Enniskillen the remaining apartment block at the ill-fated Rossory Quay housing development on the Sligo Road was demolished. The luxury apartments were marketed as dream homes but turned into a nightmare when they developed major structural problems in 2002. Owners reached an out of court settlement with the company behind the apartment complex. Most accepted a compensation package but one owner held out and hence the delay in demolition until now.

Sean Quinn junior spoke exclusively to the Impartial Reporter just before Christmas and says he is ready to go back to prison if he is sentenced again in the New Year. He also revealed the heartache he feels over having to sell the home he shares with his new wife. He further commented that court appearances and legal battles with the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation look set to continue long into 2013.

The Christmas Spirit in Enniskillen was typified by a cross community Carol Service in aid of Cancer Focus retraced the steps taken by the Queen this summer. Over 400 people attended the service which commenced in St. Macartin's Cathedral before crossing to St. Michael's Church. The joint congregation sang carols and heard readings proclaiming the good news of the birth of Christ.

A new hotel opened in Enniskillen on 12.12.12 at 12.12pm. The Enniskillen Hotel was opened by the Cadden family of Lusty Beg fame and they have transformed the site once occupied by the Fort Lodge Hotel. The opening ceremony was performed by Rachel Cadden, the hotel's marketing manager, together with her brothers Michael and David, both directors. Rachel described the opening as "an exciting development for the region".

Protest came back to the streets of Northern Ireland and Enniskillen when around 150 loyalist protesters gathered at the Townhall in response to the decision to only fly the union flag on designated days at Belfast City Hall.

A press conference in Enniskillen in December revealed details of an Historical Enquiries Team investigation into the murder of Louis Leonard, in the infamous and brutal 'body in the fridge' murder in 1972. The press conference coincided with the 40th anniversary of Leonard's murder and the HET report revealed details of "mistakes" and "failings" in the murder investigation and of "collusion" in the murder itself.

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