Protect Moyle’s Coastal Heritage

30 09 2011

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham is calling on the council to seek advice on how to best protect Moyle’s coastal heritage and to pursue the relevant agencies with responsibility to ensure action is taken.

 He added “The 19th century pier on the walk to Fair Head is fast disappearing and unless action is taken will be irreparably lost to coastal erosion”

 “Moyle’s coast is a rich and diverse historic landscape and includes evidence of past settlements, 19th century industry, old coastal defences, forts and castles, harbours and ports.

 Managing and protecting these Historic resources is becoming an increasing challenge. Much of the resource is fragile and vulnerable – prone to damage from the unpredictable forces of coastal erosion, storms, high tides and the long-term effects of climate change.

Save the Irish Red Squirrel

26 09 2011

In 1911 a pair of grey squirrels is believed to have been given as a gift to a resident of Longford Castle, Co. Longford, from where they quickly escaped. When the greys arrive into an area of woodland the resident red squirrels usually disappear within 5 to 15 years. No one is sure exactly how this happens but it is believed that the grey can out-compete the reds in accessing food and as a result the reds starve and become unable to gain enough weight to successfully breed. The grey squirrels may act as a carrier of the pox virus which does them no harm but will kill a red squirrel within 14 days of infection. A pox infected red squirrel will have pox lesions on its face, paws and genital area. This infection causes respiratory problems and prevents the red squirrel from eating. To date there has been no evidence that the red squirrel population in North of Ireland has been affected by the pox virus, but nevertheless we must remain on the lookout for this deadly disease

Ceol na nOileán TG4 features Rathlin

25 09 2011

Ceol na nOileán TG4  Dé Domhnaigh, Meán Fómhair 25, 2011
Sraith Nua: Reachlainn

Beidh Mary, Frances, Michael agus glúin óg mhuintir Black ag casadh ar an gclár seo chomh maith leis an ceoltóirí áitiúla Teresa McFaul agus John McCurdy.

 Cíorann Sorcha Nic Lochlainn agus Gusty McCurdy an tionchar a bhí ag Albain ar cheol traidisiúnta an oileáin.

The new series of Ceol na nOileán on TG4 tonight Sunday 25 September features Rathlin with performances  from Mary, Frances and Michael Black and younger members of the Black Family, as well as local singers Teresa McFaul and John McCurdy.

Sorcha Nic Lochlainn and Gusty McCurdy explore the musical tradition of this well-known island and the influence its close connection with Scotland had on that tradition.

Sympathy for Karen

24 09 2011

Speaking shortly after it was confirmed by Strathclyde police that the body of a woman washed up on Thursday on the Mull Of Kintyre had been formally identified as that of Ballycastle camogie player Karen Coyles. Local SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham stated “My heart goes out to the family and friends of Karen Coyles during this terrible time. The pain and anguish that they experienced during the search has been replaced by the shock and tragedy of their loss”

“This is a very sad and distressful time for Karen’s family, our thoughts and prayers are with her father Raymond, sisters Natalie, Deirdre and Jacqueline and her nieces and nephews”


Ballycastle left out in the cold

22 09 2011

SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has criticised the public consultation on extending the natural gas network as supplied by the Scottish pipeline.

“Once again Ballycastle has been left out in the cold, the Department plans to extend the network from the Scottish pipeline ironically away from the area closest to Scotland.”

“Households and small businesses in Ballycastle are left to look on as their counterparts in Dungannon, Cookstown, Magherafelt, Omagh, Strabane and Enniskillen, can look forward to connection to the network and the potential of lower costs, cleaner fuel and greater consumer choice and convenience.”

“Many families are keen to see the extension of the natural gas market to Ballycastle, and I will be urging Council to vigourously pursue this matter”,

“The benefits of shifting away from the dependence on coal and oil for household heating are many, not least the environmental benefit of reduced carbon emissions, the increased fuel choice and savings for consumers,and the diversification of energy sources “

Protect our Library

20 09 2011

SDLP Dónal Cunningham has expressed deep concern about proposal from Libraries NI which suggests a reduction in opening hours for Ballycastle Library.

 Reacting to proposals in a public consultation document which could see opening hours at Ballycastle Library cut from 44 hours per week down to 30. Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham said “Whilst welcoming the fact that closure has been ruled out, I have fears that a reduction in the opening hours will see an eventual deterioration in the service”

“Libraries are a vital part of our public services; I am concerned that vulnerable sections of our community will not be able to access their local library. Libraries like local post offices provide a valuable resource to local communities and should be protected”

Cunningham hits out at dog fouling

19 09 2011

Speaking after discussions with some of the management and coaches from Ballycastle United Football Club, Dónal Cunningham has hit out at dog owners who knowingly allow their dogs to foul on the playing pitch at  the Quay Playing fields.

 The SDLP Councillor said “There are no excuses, the pitch is well fenced and owners are clearly making a special effort to access the pitch. They obviously don’t care about the health risks to the teams and players s many of them from underage teams”

 “The responsibility rests with the dog owners; they know they are breaking the law – I will be pushing for greater diligence from Council to monitor this situation and to administer the fixed penalty fines”

Cushendall Road – SDLP raise safety issues

19 09 2011



Moyle SDLP Councillors Catherine McCambridge and Dónal Cunningham have requested DRD Roads Services make extra safety measures to the new footpath on the Cushendall Road in Ballyvoy.

The SDLP Councillors said “Local residents have highlighted their concerns regarding safety at the proposed termination point of the footpath on the Ballycastle side.”

 “The new footpath stops at the narrowest point of the road, which will create a potential danger due to the poor vision both for pedestrians and motorists”

 “We have suggested to Roads Service that either the footpath is continued in the direction of Ballycastle; or that vision is improved by removing a section of wall and clearing the roadside landscape”

Cunningham supports Consumer Council’s call for cheaper car insurance.

19 09 2011

 Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has voiced his support for calls by the Consumer Council for cheaper car insurance in the North. “ The consumer body is making a formal submission to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to enable it to examine the car insurance market here.

“Motorists here are being completely ripped off. Many premiums have increased by 97% in the last three years. Young drivers are being completely priced out off the market ”

 “ The excessively high costs of car insurance premiums coupled with high fuel costs will force some people off the road altogether, or lead to an increase in motorists driving illegally without insurance.

One of Ireland’s greatest sporting moments

17 09 2011

Ireland have secured one of the greatest wins in their rugby history with a 15-6 win over Australia at the World Cup. What a performance .