Sectarian “sham” fights must end

27 08 2011

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has hit out at the sectarian nature of the “sham” debates within the Moyle Council chamber and events within the area. He described them as a distraction from the real issues which are important to the people of Moyle.

He said: “The people of Moyle are crying out for leadership, economic hope and progressive politics.

“Sectarianism must be consigned to the politics of the past.

“Long before it was popular, Moyle Council operated a system and spirit of power sharing, making the district the envy of others, the latest string of events reflect poorly on the area and its elected representatives.

“The issues that really matter to people are jobs, economic recovery and the provision and maintenance of first-class public services. These are the areas the SDLP will be focussing upon as we attempt to deliver and improve peoples’ lives.”

Amnesty Event

27 08 2011

Speaking after attending an  event organised by Moyle Amnesty Group  to celebrate 50 years of Amnesty International, Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Donal Cunningham said “For the last 50 years, Amnesty has really played its part in changing the world, championing the causes of oppressed minorities, fighting torture, campaigning against the death penalty, defending prisoners of conscience and the rights of refugees, and calling oppressive regimes to account. Its inspiring vision is of a world in which every person enjoys the freedoms of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Unfortunately  there are still human rights challenges to face and the need for individuals to stand together against injustice remains as strong as ever. I wish the Moyle Amnesty Group every best wish for the future and assure them of my wholehearted support ”

The event featured Ballycastle’s own emerging acoustic folk singer/songwriter Meghan McWilliams  (daughter of the late David McWilliams), followed by the dramatisation  of   “Rich Woman/Poor Woman” (a poem from the Chile in the period shortly after the democratically elected Salvador Allende was overthrown by Augusto Pinochet) by locals Molly Goyer-Gorman and Catherine Dallat. The headline act was the legendary former Moving Heart  Keith Donald. An absolutely brilliant night.

Japanese knotweed

17 08 2011

At the Moyle District Council meeting of 8th August 2011, the SDLP Council team highlighted the problem of Japanese knotweed. Moyle District Council is committed to controlling the spread of Japanese knotweed. Where it is found on land within the Council’s control the Council will take appropriate action

It is important also that all other agencies are made aware of instances as many roadside verges and hedges are infested with Japanese knotweed, blocking drains and gullies, obscuring signs and visibility and causing structural damage.

You can help control the spread of Japanese knotweed in the Moyle District by informing the landowner, the Council or DRD Roads Service of any occurrences.

Alternatively get in touch with any of your SDLP Councillors.

Carrickmore Road: Assert the Public Right of Way

16 08 2011

Boyd's Coalyard 1984

 Moyle District Council unanimously  rejected a proposal for support for the “Abandonment  of part of the Carrickmore Road”.  

In keeping with the overwhelming view of the local community, SDLP councillors will be supporting the request for the Council to legally assert the “Public Right Of Way” right through to Fair Head.

Marine Hotel – Delays hitting the community

14 08 2011

BALLYCASTLE SDLP councillor Dónal Cunningham has said that delays by the administrator of the Marine Hotel in getting the property “ready for sale” are frustrating the local economy and stifling the promotion of tourism.

  “The Marine Hotel was closed in December 2010 and placed into administration later. Surely within that time the bank and administrators should have been in a position to progress all the required procedures and documentation in order to bring the property to a position where it is “ready for sale”.

“We should not have a situation where the work of the council and other agencies to promote tourism is ‘sterilised’ because of the lack of progress by the Hotel’s administrators. How do we market Ballycastle as a place to visit and stay when we are without the facility to accommodate our potential visitors?

“Tourism is key to the Ballycastle economy and we cannot afford to be without the full time and part time jobs which the Hotel facility provides.

“On top of that the loss of the Hotel’s leisure facilities and in particular it’s swimming pool has deprived the community of a much needed resource. Many people used the leisure facilities on a daily basis and have commented to me on the noticeable effect the closure has had on their health and wellbeing.”

Councillor Cunningham has asked Moyle Council to apply whatever pressure it can to progress the issue.

He added: “The Hotel’s administrators need to act in the interests of the local community – we should not be prepared to tolerate any further delays.”