Save the Arctic

31 08 2012

Recent evidence indicates that the Arctic is warming about twice as quickly as the northern hemisphere and there is concern that Arctic sea ice could disappear in this decade or the next.

“We should all be very worried about what is happening in the Arctic, yet the mainstream political scene seems to be unconcerned, even in denial of this looming crisis. At what point are we going to wake up and listen to the scientists who are telling us to act? 

“Instead, we see oil companies like Shell and Gazprom hell-bent on exploiting the situation, hoping to profit from the fast-melting ice.

Please support Greenpeace’s campaign to stop this happening

You can sign Greenpeace’s campaign by clicking on the link below

Rathlin Island Drama Group at Carey Hall

31 08 2012


Rathlin Island Drama Group are presenting their two One Act Comedy plays entitled  , entitled “The Cuckoo” & “A Bit of Land”,  in Carey Hall this  Saturday 1st September at 8 p.m.

Admission is £5 adult and £3 under 14.

Please support this event and enjoy an evening of fun and laughter.

Article from Glasgow Herald

29 08 2012

Swimmer reveals delight at beating icy seas


A SOUTH African man has told of his delight at being back on dry land after battling through a gruelling 12-hour swim to become the first person to cross a treacherous stretch of the North Channel.


Wayne Soutter said he was thrilled to have completed the mammoth task after facing stinging jellyfish, bone-chilling water, gripping currents and large waves.

The 43-year-old, who is raising money for the Community Rescue Service, swam about 12 miles from the southwest tip of the Mull of Kintyre to Kenbane Head in Country Antrim, Northern Ireland.

It is a route many endurance swimmers have failed to conquer and the married father-of-two said he was overcome with relief as he finally stepped ashore at around 11.30pm on Sunday.

Mr Soutter said: “When I eventually reached the shore it was just relief that the swim was over. It wasn’t elation at all, I was just glad it was finished.

“But when I started getting warmer again and felt a little bit better, the enormity of what I had achieved started to hit home.

“I’m just thrilled to prove that it’s doable and I’m sure there will be a number of swimmers now keen to give it a go.”

The computer software boss, who now lives in London, said he was ready to give up just five hours into the challenging swim, but his support team kept him going.

He said: “About five hours in I told the team on the boat that I wanted out, but they talked me into continuing for half an hour.

“They said, ‘Just do another half hour and we’ll let you know how far away we are,’ and then after that they said, ‘Just do another half hour and then we’ll see.’

“They kept telling me how well I was doing and hung a carrot out in front of me all the way across the channel.”

As Mr Soutter set off from the Mull of Kintyre, he was covered head to toe in grease in a bid to keep warm.

He was then given hot water to drink every half hour throughout the challenge to keep his temperature up and was fed either a banana or porridge every hour and a half.

The swimmer said his two biggest challenges throughout the journey were jellyfish and the piercingly cold water temperatures.

He added: “There were two things that caused problems.

“One was the jellyfish – I’ve never been stung by them before so I was really worried about it, but once I was stung a few times it was something I realised I could tolerate. My arms and chest, and even my mouth were covered in stings.

“The second thing was the cold, I was just so cold, chilled to my core. It was such an awful feeling.”

Mr Soutter has raised around £5000 for the Community Rescue Service, a search, rescue and recovery charity. This will be used to buy a 4×4 vehicle.

In 2010, the businessman also swam across the English Channel, raising £3000 for Sparrow Schools Educational Trust in South Africa.

However, asked if he had plans for any further endurance swims, he replied: “I might consider taking on another challenge, but I’m not brave enough to tell my wife that yet.”


Mull of Kintyre to Ireland Swim – Good Luck Wayne and team

25 08 2012

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has sent his best wishes to Wayne Soutter and his team as they put their final preparations together for this Sunday’s attempt to become the first person to swim from the Mull of Kintyre (Scotland) to Torr Head ,Ballycastle and has urged the local community to support their efforts – all monies raised will go to our local Community Rescue Service.

 Councillor  Cunningham commented “Wayne is an inspirational character, I have been in contact with him since last year, when his plans were very much still in their infancy. In October 2011 following a terrible tragedy in Ballycastle , I asked Wayne if he would consider raising some money from the swim for Community Rescue Service, he immediately agreed and I put him in touch with the local CRS boys.Wayne struck up a great friendship with the lads , and after taking part in one of their training events combined with  a weekend of Ballycastle’s hospitality and craic, Wayne decided that CRS would be the sole benefactor of his fundraising efforts. He enlisted  many of the CRS team and their expertise to be  to be part of his support team” 

The team will consist of:
Sean – Captain
Paul – Swim Manager
Carlos – Navigation
Joe – Navigation
Jon – life blood of the boat and the swim
Mark – Communications   
Gerard – Coordinator & planner in Ballycastle.
Gary – Observer

Portnagree House will be open from 10.00am on Sunday to act as an information centre to track Wayne’s progress and will give locals a chance to donate to this worthy cause.

After Wayne’s arrival at Torr Head he will be taken by boat to Ballycastle Harbour, please keep in touch with his progress and let’s have a large crowd there to welcome him ashore.

Congratulations and Good Luck Paul

23 08 2012

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has congratulated fellow Ballycastle man Paul Kerrigan who has successfully reeached the final of the Calor Ireland Community Champion.

Wishing him well, Councillor Cunningham  assured Paul that he is already a winnner and the Ballycastle community greatly appreciates his efforts.

Paul has worked very hard in setting up the Ballycastle Community Development Group (BCDG). A group was inspired by the facebook page “What I would like to see in Ballycastle”.
“In the short period of their existence the group under Paul’s  guidance have

  • initiated the Youthlinks regeneration fund (saving a local youth club from shutting down),
  • delivered the first community festival recently to the town in many years as part of the Olympic torch day on the 3rd of June.
  • organised a Community games weekend
  • are in the process of developing a community radio station for all in the community, but specifically involving youth who are on the fringes of crime and getting them involved to help change their lives for the better.

Cunningham backs defibrillator call.

18 08 2012

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham backed the proposal before Moyle District Council calling for defibrillators to be installed at all Council sports and community facilities in Moyle.
A defibrillator is a non-invasive device that uses electrode patches placed on the chest to deliver a small electric pulse to restart heart function.
Last season Premier League footballer Fabrice Muamba, suffered a cardiac arrest while playing for Bolton. This incident and the player’s subsequent rehabilitation, refocused public consciousness on sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) – a disorder which closer to home had caused the deaths of Tyrone gaelic footballer Cormac McAnallen and Armagh college rugby player John McCall.
“SADS is no respecter of age or apparent fitness, so if a small piece of equipment used by a trained operator can save one life, we should be secure in the knowledge that all our leisure facilities have one.”

St George’s Market at the Lammas Fair

17 08 2012

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has called on the local community to use their experiences of these years Oul Lammas Fair to suggest how the event can be improved in future years.

 “The Fair which has taken place for several centuries and brings visitors from all over the world to Ballycastle, belongs to the local community and its future should be shaped by them. Many people have suggested the need for a programme of community events to extend the celebrations.”

The Council have a Lammas Fair Working Group of which Councillor Cunningham is a member “This year through the hard work of the Council’s Economic department we have secured traders from St Georges Market who will operate over the two days in a marquee at Ballycastle seafront, as well as that the marquee will host entertainment on the Sunday night in the form of comedian Kevin McAleer these are events which I know the community will respond positively to. “

 “It is important that the Council needs to continue to engage with the local community and encourage the promotion of the Fair in a way that commands local support.”

Cunningham praises Red Bay Boats

17 08 2012

Speaking after attending the launch of Red Bay Boats new Stormforce 1650 boat in Cushendall, Moyle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has praised the company for their outstanding record of achievement.

 “Red Bay Boats is an outstanding example of a local business, which since its foundation in 1977 has developed into a world leader of high quality boat manufacture.    The new Stormforce 1650 is the largest vessel in their range and has been entirely developed and manufactured over the past year in their Cushendall workshop”

 “The new boat is aimed at a commercial market and has been developed to cater for the needs of ports, harbours and the offshore renewable industry. The company anticipate that they will sell this vessel globally from their Cushendall base. The boat has the potential to greatly enhance our tourism industry particularly in terms of the links between the Glens of Antrim and the Western Isles of Scotland. It can also help improve Search and Rescue resources around our shores”

 “In difficult economic times, RedBay boats are proof that enterprise, innovation and a highly skilled and experienced workforce can compete successfully in the global market. They deserve all of our support “

Oul Lammas Fair Entertainment – Kevin McAleer

12 08 2012

Tyrone stand up comedian Kevin McAleer will provide the “Oul Lammas Fair” entertainment at the Seafront Marquee on Sunday 26th Aug at 8.30pm

Council response to Friday night toilet query

9 08 2012

There is a toilet for people with disabilities as part of the main public toilet block on the seafront, adjacent to the tennis courts. The entrance to the toilet for people with disabilities is on the tennis court side of this block. It is accessible 24/7 to any blue badge holder who holds a radar key and complies with all regulations.

 Any other members of the public who do not require toilet facilities for people with disabilities may use the Tennis Pavilion toilets which are open to the public until 9.30pm all summer.