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Fermanagh and Omagh

£400,000 Investment in Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital

Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital
Health Minister Robin Swann with (left) Deputy Sister Kerry Mellon and (right) Sister Phyllis Fitzsimons during a visit to ASHA Centre for Addiction in Omagh. Photo Credit: Michael Cooper

Health Minister Robin Swann has visited mental health and addictions units at Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital in Omagh to meet staff and to see the recent capital improvements to the Hospital.

Minister Swann said: “As with my visits to other similar units across Northern Ireland, in recent times, I am continually struck by the amazing dedication and professionalism of the staff working in both addictions and mental health services. Particularly during the especially challenging times presented by the ongoing pandemic their resilience has been outstanding.”

Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital provides inpatient acute mental health care, psychiatric intensive care and addictions inpatient care. The hospital also provides a six-bedded crisis house, which has been transformed to provide hospital in-patient services to meet the increasing need associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.

The facilities, some of which date back to the 1930’s are in need of investment, with the long term plan for a new 6,700m2 new-build facility to be located adjacent to the Omagh Hospital and Primary Care Complex. The new centre will replace existing outdated facilities and provide modern, fit-for-purpose accommodation in the Southern Sector of the Trust.

Minister Swann reiterated that: “I consider a new mental health unit in Omagh to be a very important and deserving priority for my Department. That is why last September I resubmitted a bid for funding to commence the new unit as part of a four year capital budget information gathering exercise. Without additional resources and a multi-year budget settlement my Department is unable to commence any significant new investments that will continue beyond this financial year.

“I remain determined to keep pressing for the necessary funding for this important project but in the interim I can confirm my Department will provide a further £400,000 to invest in Tyrone and Fermanagh Hospital to improve patient safety and experience. The investment will have a direct impact on patients and will improve outcomes and bringing the total invested in AMH facilities in Omagh over the last two years to almost £1.5million.”

Commenting on the Minister’s visit, Western Health and Social Care Trust Director of Adult Mental Health & Disability Services, Karen O’Brien, said: “We are delighted to welcome the Minister to Omagh today to visit our Complex Detoxification Unit in the Asha Centre and our Elm, Lime and Integrated Psychiatric Intensive Care Units (PICU).

“On behalf of the Western Trust I would like to thank him for taking time out of his busy schedule to come and view, first hand, our extensive acute mental health facilities in Omagh and to acknowledge the work and commitment of our staff towards the provision of mental health and social care services across the Western Trust.

“I would also like to thank the Minister for his continued support and for his clear and continuing commitment towards those in need of mental health care, which is demonstrated through his support of proposals for a new mental health unit in Omagh.”

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Fermanagh and Omagh

Wild About the Workhouse Wildlife Walks in Enniskillen

Did you know there are eight species of bats in Northern Ireland or that swifts, on leaving their nest for the first time, are airborne for 2-3 years before they land for the first time!

Would you like to learn more about bats, swifts and local wildlife in Enniskillen?

If so, registration is now open to join a ‘Wild About the Workhouse’ guided walk taking place around Enniskillen on Friday 2 July and Friday 23 July 2021 at 8.30 pm.

These walks, organised by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, are part of the Enniskillen Workhouse Project in partnership with South West College with funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

The Enniskillen Workhouse is currently home to swifts during the spring and summer months and bats potentially all year round.

Nesting swifts and bats are both protected species, therefore, as part of the restoration of the workhouse to create a business enterprise and heritage hub, the Council is protecting and enhancing the nesting and roosting spaces that are there by following specialist guidance on construction timings, building advice and appropriate mitigation.

The walks will be on footpaths and walkways around Enniskillen town at night taking in Enniskillen Castle and Fermanagh Lakeland Forum.

To find out more and book your place on a ‘Wild About the Workhouse’ guided walk, please email

Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis as numbers are restricted to 15 per walk.

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Fermanagh and Omagh

Summertime at Strule Arts Centre

With the summer holidays fast approaching Strule Arts Centre has a variety of activities to keep children entertained throughout the summer months.

‘Click and Collect’ Summer arts and crafts
Summer Arts and Craft kits, which include online tutorials and materials for five arts and crafts lessons, are available to purchase from the Strule Arts Centre website.

The kits cover the following lessons:

Lesson 1: Create your Summer ice pop themed bunting to hang in your bedroom or home.  Watch the tutorial as it takes you through how to create your own ice pop bunting.  Use the paints and paint brush, string and templates to create the bunting.

Lesson 2: Draw and paint a palm tree, beached themed landscape following the accompanying tutorial.

Lesson 3:  Learn how to draw and paint two different ice pops using paint and crayons/oil pastels

Lesson 4: Create your own summer themed postcard and send it to a friend to let them know you are thinking of them.  Use your literacy skills to share your summer 2021 experiences.

Lesson 5: Watch the time lapse for inspiration on how you can add colour and patterns to your camper van and surf boards. Then you can create your own beach scene using whatever art materials you prefer to use.

The kits are priced at £20 per pack, are suitable for age 4 years and upwards and available to order via the Strule Arts Centre website.

Creative Pottery Claymation  

Creative Pottery Claymation kits and tutorials are available for click and collect from Strule Arts Centre.

Claymation is a form of stop-motion animation where each animated clay model, including characters and some background, is constructed out of coloured clays or plasticine.

Each frame is recorded on film and then played back in quick succession to give the appearance of movement.

Using the kit you will create your own characters and take photographs to make a claymation movie.  This is a fun way to involve the whole family.

Kits are available to order from the Strule Arts Centre website at a cost of £15.

Gobblefunk Summer Scheme

Taking place from Monday 19 –  Friday 23 July for 7 to 11 year olds, Gobblefunk will provide a range of exciting activities throughout the week including dance, drama, music and art.

Each day participants will be visited by a guest tutor; Relax kids Omagh; Shine therapy; Devine Music; Dance Revelation and Liam the Prove it Guy.

Full supervision each day from 9am -5pm with breakfast, lunch and healthy snack each day included in the price.  The cost is £120 per child (£24 per day), second child+ £110 each for the week.  Please note numbers are limited.

Music Academy  

Taking place from Monday 26 July – Friday 30 July, 9am – 5pm for children age 12 – 17.

Music Academy aims to develop skills and build confidence in performance and collaboration but, most of all have a fun, creative week picking up tips from professionals in the industry.

Coordinated by ‘Together in Music’ the talented pool of tutors includes natives of Omagh who live and work in the area including:

Calvin Davison – Vocals and Keyboard.  Calvin attended Omagh Academy Grammar school before studying singing and Opera performance at The Royal Northern College of Music. Calvin is currently teaching at Dungannon Integrated College.

Aidan (Nardo) Dunphy – Percussion and Drums.  Aidan studied at Trinity College of Music London. He has played at Ronnie Scotts and with English National Ballet and recorded with Declan O’Rourke amongst many other wonderful singers over the years.

Matt McGlinn – Guitar.  Matt is a member of the McGlinn musical dynasty who grew up creating and performing. Matt has years of experience teaching the guitar and now, along with Owen McNulty, runs the very successful ‘Guitar Studio’ in The Old Market Yard Omagh.

Full supervision each day from 9am – 5pm. Breakfast, lunch and healthy snack are included in the price of £150 (£30 per day).  Second child+ £130 each for the week.

Art, Photography and Creative Writing Academy 

Taking place Monday 9 August  – Friday 13 August, 9am – 5pm for 12 – 17 year olds.

Art, Photography and Creative Writing Academy aims to develop skills in each art form.  Participants will look at light, composition and shadows.  For those interested in the arts this will be a wonderful week of learning and having fun with skilled tutors including Master Photographer of the Year 2018 Tony Moore Fine Art Photographer, artists including Pauline Harte and Rory O Laughlin and Creative Writer, Andrew Maguire.

Participants will have the opportunity to explore all three art forms in interesting bite size tutorials suitable for their age group, providing them with knowledge that they can then take with them and develop further as they progress through life.

It is anticipated that they will be able to explore along the Strule Riverside Walk and Omagh Town Centre for this programme.

Full supervision each day from 9am-5pm. Breakfast, lunch and healthy snack are included in the price of £150 (£30 per day).  Second child+ £130 each for the week.

The above Summer Academies, developed in partnership with local artists and musicians, will provide participants with the opportunity to meet local professionals within the industry who will share their expertise and provide guidance and encouragement to participants.

All activities will be undertaken in accordance with Covid-19 restrictions and public health guidance. 

For further information on summer activities at Strule Arts Centre place visit the Strule Arts Centre website here.

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