Community shows solidarity with O’Neill family

28 04 2013


Speaking after attending a candlelit vigil in Ballycastle Diamond organised by Orlaith Campbell in memory of local man Kevin O’Neill who was killed in a stabbing incident in the town a week earlier, Councillor Dónal Cunningham said

“I hope the O’Neill family can find some comfort in the numbers of people from the local community who have turned out tonight in solidarity with them. Seven days ago we were in a state of numbness and shock following the news of Kevin’s death.”

“While the exact circumstances of Kevin’s death are now subject to criminal investigation, it is widely recognised that drugs and the drugs subculture have been linked to his untimely death.”

“It is clear that Kevin was no different from any other young person, many of whom attended his funeral on Friday.  They are good people and need to be protected from the evil of those who pressurise them into drug-taking.”

“The spirit displayed by the community tonight  is something we can take forward. We must all stand together with our neighbours, and ensure that our community is not abandoned, and that the drug sub-culture is not allowed to take any further hold. The effect of drugs and the crime they generate will tear the heart out of both our community and our young people – but only if we let it”


Ballycastle to host Co Antrim Fleadh

28 04 2013


 Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has said that he is pleased to see  the  County Antrim Fleadh returning to the town. Events will run over the  period 6th to 12th May 2013. As well as attracting visitors and boosting the local economy, the Fleadh will promote our musical culture and showcase our talented musicians . I congratulate the organisers who have put together a  mix and range of events and competitions for all ages.


Fleadh Opening Monday 6th May

 Dé Luain – Monday 6th May

 @ Approx 10.00 from Cushendun – ‘An tSiúlóid Sheachadta – The Handover Walk’ from Cushendun to Ballycastle with tunes along the way, the Hunger House and Hunter’s Bar, and arriving in Golf Club at approx 4.30pm. Local walkers and walking groups welcome to join in. £4 per entrant, musicians (with instruments, no bluffers!) free.

 @ 1.00 – 3.00 – Street Sessions – 30 designated spots. Great prizes, contact All CCE Branches welcome.

 @ 3.00 – 4.30 Open air in The Diamond, Ballycastle – Live Traditional music from trad legends ‘Craobh Rua’ featuring some of Antrim and Ireland’s best musicians.

 @ 4.00 – 7.00pm BBQ and session – BBQ agus sessiún ceoil, O’Connor’s Bar, Anne Street – Tí MacConcubhur, Sráid Áine. Fáilte roimh achan daoine.

 Dé Mhairt – Tuesday 7th May

@ 10-11.30 Gaelscoil An Chaistil – 5 Kiln’s Rd, Ballycastle Tachráin is Tuismitheoirí as Gaeilge, Parents and Toddlers in Irish @ 3.30pm McAlister Hall, Ballycastle – Presentation from John Bustard ‘The Irish in Stories’ Myths and legends of the north coast of Antrim via brand new app!! – Taispeántas ó John Bustard ‘The Irish in Stories’ Seanscéaltaí ó Aontroim Thuaidh ar app nua!! Followed by – Presentation of Awards for Art and photography competitions

 @ 4.30 – 5.30pm McAlister Hall, Junior Céili through Irish – Céili na hÓige as Gaeilge Caller Helen O Kane Music: Senior CCE

 @ 7.00pm Rotary Club meeting at Central Bar – Presentation by Gerry McGouran and Baile an Chaistil CCE junior members followed by traditional session

 @ 7.00pm ‘Singing Session’ in Halo Night club. All singers welcome.

 Dé Chéadaoin –Wednesday 8th May

@ 4.00 – 6.00pm – At Oifig na Fleá, Castle Street – Flute Master class with one of Ireland’s premier flute players, Brendan Mulholland. (Booking essential.)

 @ 7.00pm Thyme and Co – ‘The Reiver and the Gael’ Story telling, songs, poetry and stories – Scéaltaí agus Amhráin le Stephen Hall, Michael Sands, Aodhán MacSheaffraidh’

A brand new cultural experience…like the Good Friday Agreement only funnier!

 Deardaoin – Thursday 9th May

@ 7.00pm Beach walk with Óg Ógras all welcome – Meet at Marine Corner

 @ 7.00pm – Treasure Hunt starting at Marine Corner, hosted by Danny Morgan and Maura O’Loan. Prizes for the winners. All welcome

 @ 8.00pm O’Connor’s Bar – Tí MacConcubhur, Sráid Áine – ‘The Gathering’ session – Sessiún mór ceoil ‘An tOireachtais’

 @ 9.00pm O’Connor’s Bar – Tí MacConcubhur, Sráid Áine – Senior Session with Dominic, Leo, PJ and friends. The longest running session in Ireland! 35 years and counting.

 Dé hAoine – Friday 10th May

@ 8.00pm – Cross and PassionCollege, Fleadh Concert with local Branches special guest Len Graham. MC PJ Hill.

@ 9.30pm The House of McDonnell – Teach Tom The Friday night session – Sessiún ceoil oíche Aoine

 Dé Sathairn – Saturday 11th May

@ 9.30am Cross & PassionCollege, Moyle Road, Ballycastle Competitions – Comórtais

 @ 6.00-8.00pm Session in ‘The Boyd’. All welcome.

 @ 7.00 – 9.00pm Len Graham, renowned singer and storyteller in Harbour Bar upstairs. Talk on Frank Mc Collam (local musician and former founder of the Baile An Chaistil Branch)

 @ 9.30pm -Sessiún mór i dTí Tom – The Big Fleadh session in Tom’s – The House of McDonnell

 Dé Domhnaigh – Sunday 12th May

 @ 12.00am Cross & PassionCollege, Moyle Road, Ballycastle Competitions – Comórtais Céili Band, Grúpa Cheoil and Dancing Competitions

 @ 2.00pm – 4.00pm Wheel Works presents Live Electronic Music Workshop for all the family

 @ 5.00pm Closing Concert with local CCE branches

Ballycastle Sea Front stage – Ardán na Mara, Baile an Chaistil

Many impromptu sessions taking place. Please enjoy the fleadh and enjoy Ballycastle.

Go leor seisiún spleoracha i rith an deireadh seachtaine. Bainigí sult as Baile an Chaistil


Successful Night for local drama group

28 04 2013

An Inspector Calls

Speaking after attending a production of the J.B. Priestley  three-act drama  “An Inspector Calls “  staged by local community drama group Quadrangle Production in the McAllister Hall, Ballycastle Councillor Dónal Cunningham paid tribute to the group and their tremendous work.

“Quadrangle deserve great praise – they work tirelessly throughout the year with all age groups (8-21) through workshops in acting, singing and dance. They aim to make quality drama training accessible to all young people acros the Moyle area and to provide a sustainable platform for these young people to showcase their talents.  The professionalism of this production of J.B. Priestley’s play directed by Cross and Passion College pupil Lee McLaughlin is a credit to all those involved. There were so many fine performances, reminding us of the talent we have within our local community”


Arthur Birling……………………Dominic McAfee
Sybil Birling……………………….Caroline Kelly Dodds
Sheila Birling……………………..Rachel McCook
Eric Birling…………………………David Thomas Willis
Gerald Croft………………………..Calum Telfer
Inspector Goole………………….Ryan Ennis
Edna……………………………………Dairine Forsythe

The play takes place on a single night in 1912, focusing on the prosperous middle-class Birling family, who live in a comfortable home in Brumley, “an industrial city in the north Midlands”.

The family is visited by a man calling himself Inspector Goole, who questions the family about the suicide of a young working-class woman, Eva Smith (also known as Daisy Renton). The family are interrogated and revealed to have been responsible for the young woman’s exploitation, abandonment and social ruin, effectively leading to her death

Quadrangle logo

Shared Education – The views of Children and Young People

24 04 2013

Shared Education

Welcoming the report “Shared Education – Views of Children and Young People’ – Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham said that the findings concur with the Ballycastle experience.

“The co-operation between Cross and Passion College and Ballycastle High School is proof that Shared Education works, both schools can offer a wider range of subject choice, facilities and expertise while at the same time able to retain and celebrate their own community identity and ethos.

 “Ballycastle is leading the way in terms of co-operation and developing  and enriching the educational experiences of pupils.”

Ballycastle needs Statutory Residential Care provision

24 04 2013


Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has called on the Northern Health and Social Care Trust to ensure that Ballycastle is properly catered for in terms of Statutory Residential Care.

The Northern Health and Social Care Trust are expected at a meeting tomorrow (Thursday 24th April 2013) to publish a paper on the Future of Residential Care within the area. This paper will be the subject of public consultation running to July 2013.

Already much uncertainty exists with relation to Rathmoyle and its move to a “Supported Living” facility, on top of that we have the uncertainty relating to the Adult Day Care facilities. These uncertainties need to be cleared up.

Patients, service users, families and staff need to know what is going on.

Cunningham calls on Rathlin Energy to clarify their intentions

23 04 2013


Ballycastle SDLP Dónal Cunningham has called on oil and gas exploration company Rathlin Energy to clarify their position with regard to their plans for any new exploration well within the onshore Rathlin Basin.

Councillor Cunningham continued

“We are aware that following the analysis of results from the 2008 Ballinlea well, the company intends to seek permission for a new exploration well with drilling likely to take place early 2014”

“I would call on the company to make clear from their geological evidence and seismic data what their intentions for development are.”

“Bearing in mind that that the Environment Minister Alex Attwood has warned against a headlong rush in to hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” and that Council and the local community have both voiced their opposition to fracking – the onus must be on the company state if this forms part of their plans.”

Maginness welcomes High Court ruling on Finucane

23 04 2013



SDLP Justice spokesperson Alban Maginness has welcomed the High Court ruling by Mr. justice Stephens that that he should inspect a series of documents and e-mails being sought as part of a legal challenge to the British government’s refusal to order a full, independent inquiry into the 1989 assassination of Belfast solicitor Pat Finucane.

 Mr. Maginness said: “I welcome today’s ruling by Mr. Justice Stephens that he should be able to examine the information being sought by Mr. Finucane’s family.

 The Finucane family have fought for many years for a public inquiry into this murder and I hope that today’s ruling is a step closer to them achieving their goal.

Popular Business to close

23 04 2013


Ballycastle Councillor Dónal Cunningham paid tribute to popular Ballycastle business “The Pantry” who announced that their Castle Street premises would close in order to concentrate on the outside catering end of business.

In the eight years since opening, “The Pantry” has breathed new life into the town centre and was popular with young and old; Una and her staff have been a credit to the town playing a vital role at the heart of local economic, social and community life. I wish her and her staff every success in the future


Shock at fatal Ballycastle stabbing

21 04 2013


SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has expressed his shock after the fatal stabbing of a young man in the Stroanshesk Park area of the town on Sunday afternoon.

 Mr Cunningham said:

“The victim of this horrific attack, Kevin O’Neill is from a well known and respected Ballycastle family and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at what must be an extremely difficult time.

“People in this area are in a total state of shock and this attack represents an attack not just on Mr O’Neill but the wider community also.

“Knife crime has no place on the streets of Ballycastle or anywhere else and we need tough sentencing laws to get through to people that carrying and using knives is not acceptable.”


Ballycastle United win Steel and Sons Shield Final

20 04 2013


SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has congratulated Ballycastle United Football Club on winning the Steel and Sons Shield Final

In a thrilling game played at the Showgrounds in Coleriane the Ballycastle sided triumphed 2-1 over a much fancied Kilrea side thanks to goals from “Smurf” McAfee and unofficial man of the match Saul McCaughan.

Ballycastle took the lead through McAfee in the 27th minute when he rose to head home a Lee Watterson cross.

The “Town” who had the upper hand in the first half held the lead to half time.

An excellent Ballycastle defence withstood a lot of Kilrea pressure until Saul McCaughan burst through the defence at lightning pace to cooly beat the keeper with ten minutes left on the clock. Kilrea struck five minutes later but the Castle held on to win their first trophy in the Coleraine league since a 1989 Constitution Cup Final win over Ringsend.

Cllr Cunningham who attended the game said: “I congratulate Ballycastle United on their fantastic success. This is a great achievement and hopefully will the spurn the team on for their remaining fixtures as they look to add the league title and a possible historic double. This has been an outstanding year for the Club it’s players, management team, club officials, volunteers and supporters.