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Bursary Success for Olympic Steeplechaser

Bursary Success for Olympic Steeplechaser image

Northern Ireland record holder for the 3000m Steeplechase, Kerry O’Flaherty of Newcastle Athletics Club, has been awarded a Phoenix Natural Gas Sports Bursary to help fund her costs associated with her ‘Road to Rio’ campaign where she hopes to represent Ireland on the track in the Steeplechase at the 2016 Olympic Games. 

Kerry was the first track and field athlete from Northern Ireland in 12 years to make an Olympic Games Qualifying Time when she clocked 9 minutes 42.6 seconds in Letterkenny last July. 

The training and preparation costs are significant, including travel and accommodation expenses for training away from home and for competing in international competitions in the build up to Rio. To help Kerry meet these costs, her local athletics club successfully applied for a Phoenix Natural Gas Sports Bursary, which is open to high level athletes who represent their region or country competitively, whilst living in Northern Ireland.

Kerry reflected: "I’m absolutely delighted to have achieved Olympic Standard and feel so proud and privileged to be competing in a sport I feel so passionate about. I am also very grateful to Newcastle Athletics Club for applying for my sponsorship and of course to Phoenix, their support for my Rio preparation is very much appreciated. I’ve had a very solid winter’s training so far, racing is going well and it’ll not be long now until August comes around; participating in the Olympic Games is the pinnacle of any athlete’s career”.

Alastair Pollock, Business Development Director of Phoenix Natural Gas, said: "As part of Phoenix’s commitment to developing local talent there are a number of sports bursaries available, which offer local athletes the opportunity to develop their sporting potential by providing them with funding that will enhance their ability to compete in their given sport at regional, national and international levels. We wish Kerry every success in Rio, all of us at Phoenix will be cheering her on.”

Pic: Kerry O’Flaherty visits Phoenix Natural Gas to talk to staff about her Road to Rio campaign, pictured with Alastair Pollock, Business Development Director of Phoenix Natural Gas.

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Installing natural gas central heating does eliminate the need for a separate hot water tank, so it is possible to free up some space where the hot press currently exists. However, it is not a requirement of installing natural gas central heating that your hot water tank is removed, so it is entirely your choice.

Homeowners installing a new central heating appliance will be required to make an application to the Builiding Control department of their local council prior to work commencing.

Once you have requested your connection to the natural gas network, it can take up to 15 working days to get a planned connection date. Your natural gas connection is installed over approximately 5 working days, which includes re-instatement on private and public property.  The final stage is the internal installation completed by your installer which (depending on the work involved) can take on average 3 working days.

Currently Phoenix Natural Gas offers a free connection to the natural gas network, worth up to £750.  Work to install your natural gas appliance, e.g. central heating or gas fire is carried out by an independent Gas Safe registered installer.  Details of these installers can be found here.

There would be more energy saving benefits to change everything at once, but we realise that family budgets may prevent this. It is possible to change over in stages, as financial considerations allow.

As with any major home improvement there will be an element of disruption, although both Phoenix Natural Gas and Gas Safe registered installation companies (registered with Phoenix Natural Gas) will aim to keep this to an absolute minimum.

The network operator provides and maintains the natural gas network.  The supplier buys gas which they then sell to consumers via the network operator’s network.  Your supplier is your first point of contact for billing queries and payment card requests.

Phoenix Natural Gas is the gas transporter and network operator.  We do not supply natural gas.  Details of gas suppliers in the greater Belfast area can be found here.

No. All installers who are eligible to carry out natural gas work have been registered with Gas Safe Register, which is the national watchdog for gas safety in the UK. Many of these installers will also be registered with Phoenix Natural Gas, which ensures that you can take advantage of our many offers and incentives for new customers switching to natural gas.

A number of installation companies offer a finance facility which allows you to install a new high efficiency natural gas system and spread the cost of installation over a fixed number of months.

For more information on Finance please click here.

For a full list of Phoenix registered installers please click here.


This section is currently under review.

Please call your gas supplier or 03454 55 55 55 for help and advice.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused.


Phoenix Natural Gas is the network operator and not the gas supplier.  Therefore, you will need to speak to your gas supplier.  Details of suppliers can be found here.

On occasion Phoenix Natural Gas will need to carry essential maintenance on the gas meter.  We will endeavour to notify you of this to enable access to your gas appliances after the work is carried out. However, we know that this is not always convenient for consumers. 

If we have been at your property and left a no access card this will give the appropriate number to call to get your gas switched back on.  If you have any questions regarding this please contact our customer services team on 03454 55 55 55.

Natural gas is the fuel of choice for many consumers across Europe with 20 million customers in Great Britain alone. Phoenix Natural Gas continually monitors the system for safety and operates a 24-hour emergency response service, 365 days a year. All gas appliances should be correctly installed by a Gas Safe registered installation company and should be checked annually.

Natural gas is a very convenient, clean and versatile fuel. But like all fuels it must be handled wisely to ensure its safety and efficiency. If you think you smell gas, you should contact the 24-hour gas emergency service on 0800 002 001 or click here for further advice.