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.

Thoughts with family of house-fire victim

19 04 2013

diamond fire

SDLP Ballycastle Councillor Dónal Cunningham has offered his sympathies to the family of the 44-year-old man who died in a house fire in the town earlier today.
Councillor Cunningham said: “The victim who at this stage has been “named locally” is known to me, this is a truly tragic death and my heart goes out to the man’s family and friends.”
“I would also encourage everyone to take all precautions to make their house or flat fire-safe and also to help do the same for anyone either living alone, elderly or vulnerable.”

Moyle – one of the most dangerous places for heart health

19 04 2013


Moyle heart health figures highlight need for co-coordinated approach
Reacting to news that Moyle Council area has been ranked as one of the top ten most dangerous places in the UK for heart health.
Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham said

“We need to see a coordinated approach at both national and local levels to deliver improved health outcomes for Moyle”

The figures which were released by the British Heart Foundation on the launch of its Fight for Every Heartbeat campaign show that 32 people in Moyle die from coronary heart disease each year.

Councillor Cunningham called for every effort to be made to enable people in the area to choose a lifestyle where healthier outcomes can happen.

“When we combine these heart health figures along with the fact that Moyle also saw a 43% increase in the number of people diagnosed with diabetes it is clear that we need to act positively to improve public health”

Senseless Attack on Boston

16 04 2013


On behalf of the Moyle SDLP, Councillor Dónal Cunningham condemned the Boston bomb attacks that has resulted in 3 deaths and more than 100 people injured.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the shocking events in Boston. Boston is a city with a very proud Irish heritage and Irish people are shocked and appalled by these heartless attacks”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston, the families of the innocent people who lost their lives and all those injured in this senseless and terrible attack. We fully condemn this violent act”

Where are the hardship payments for Farmers?

16 04 2013

Sheep at Torr

Joe Byrne SDLP MLA and Vice Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, has asked DARD why no hardship cash payments have yet been paid to farmers badly affected at a meeting of the Agricultural Committee today.

Senior officials at today’s meeting outlined how the fallen animals’ collection of dead sheep and cattle as a result of the recent snow storm has been progressing. Over 20,000 sheep and 700 cattle have been collected. The two rendering companies designated by DARD have been doing the collection at farms as requested through the DARD helpline system.

Joe Byrne said ‘Farmers who have suffered the losses of dead sheep and cattle in the affected areas have still received no hardship cash payments. I am astounded that DARD has not yet made a minimum threshold cash aid payment to those who have registered with DARD.

“Many of these farmers are in severe financial difficulties with restricted banking facilities. They need help now, and I am calling on the DARD Minister Michelle O’Neill to make immediate cash payments to those farmers in immediate need. She needs cut through bureaucratic red tape until the final compensation losses can be assessed.

‘Finally there has to be a greater urgency to bring immediate relief to those farmers who are suffering badly.’’