Rathlin Island Rue Point and Roonivoolin Walk

15 05 2013


Information from Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust

The next walk in our Events Programme for 2013 is on Rathlin Island and takes place on the 1st June 2013 at 1.30pm.  This walk takes place during the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival and the ferries will be very busy so if you wish to take part in this walk we recommend you contact Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd on (028) 2076 9299 asap to book your place on the ferry.  The ferry times can be found at the following link: http://www.rathlinballycastleferry.com/tr/index.php?id=timetable0 (Please ensure when booking your ferry that you leave yourself ample time to prepare for the walk.  It is also recommended to bring refreshments.)

 Once you have booked your place on the ferry, please contact either myself or Tierna (tierna@ccght.org) to register with for the walk. More information can be found below. Thank you for your time.

 Take the route less travelled on this beautiful walk to Rue Point, the most southerly point on the island and then on to the RSPB Roonivoolin Reserve and back to the Harbour area. This is a varied and leisurely walk and is also one of the great activities offered as part of this year’s exciting Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival celebrations. Enjoy amazing views of the coastline. Enjoy stunning views of the cliffs, Church Bay and the Northern Irish coastline as well as, during the Festival dates, a Search and Rescue Demonstration in the seas below.

Prebooking is required. Contact Tierna on (028) 2075 2100 or email tierna@ccght.org

We recommend you contact Rathlin Island Ferry Ltd (028) 2076 9299 to arrange ferry travel.

Assembly point: 1.30pm Rathlin Harbour, Rathlin Island.
Date: Saturday 1st June 2013
Duration: Approx 3 ¾ hours.
Distance: 5 miles.
Surface: Tarmac laneway, established tracks and open fields.
Grade: 2.
Footwear: Strong/solid footwear and waterproof clothing recommended. Sunscreen may be necessary and a bottle of water. No dogs please

Launch of Rathlin Sound Maritime festival

14 05 2013

Tall Ships Fairhead

Friday 10th May saw the launch of the Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival, set to be one of the highlight events of the summer, beginning later this month on 24 May. The launch event was held at Portnagree House Harbour & Marina Visitor Centre in Ballycastle, the building that is home to the Harbour Master’s office and the Visitor Information Centre and offers impressive facilities for both visitors and locals. The launch event was organised and hosted by Caroline Carey, Acting Tourism Development Manager for Moyle District Council and John Morton, Harbour Master for Moyle District Council, both part of the Festival steering group.

Moyle District Council Chairman Cllr Sandra Hunter welcomed everyone to the launch event and paid tribute to the work of the Festival steering group and all the organisations involved for their efforts to put together such an exciting programme of activities throughout the Festival dates of 24 May to 02 June 2013. The Festival has been organised by a team comprising Moyle District Council tourism and marina staff, Rathlin Development and Community Association, Ballycastle Community Development Group and Ballycastle Chamber of Commerce. Michael Cecil, Chair of Rathlin Development and Community Association, Paul Kerrigan Chair of the Ballycastle Community Development Group and Mary O’Driscoll, Chair of Ballycastle Chamber of Commerce all spoke at the launch to welcome the guests and acknowledge the strong working relationships between the Festival team and outside organisations which has demonstrated how the local area and local businesses can be successfully promoted through this and other exciting tourism events in the Moyle area. A host of other organisations from across NI and beyond are also involved and will be running activities during the Festival, including Ulster Wildlife Trust, NI Environment Agency, Bushmills Distillery, NI Libraries, National Trust Giant’s Causeway Visitor Centre, Ballycastle Market and many more with representatives present at the launch event.
Guests were treated to samples of the excellent local produce available in Moyle with catering by local cafe Thyme & Co and Morton’s Fish Shop, provided courtesy of Malin Waters and their Sail West programme, with the focus on seafood to tie in with the overall maritime theme of the Festival.
Heavy showers didn’t dampen enthusiasm at the event with guests also visiting Ballycastle marina to see the iconic Colmcille currach, currently moored in Ballycastle and soon to head to Iona in the Western Isles of Scotland before making the return journey to Rathlin Island to take part in the Festival later this month.
The full programme of activities has recently been released for the first Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival which will run from Friday 24th May to 2nd June 2013. Programs with full activity listings as well as tickets for the music events are now available from Ballycastle Visitor Information Centre at Portnagree House on Bayview Road. Headline acts include among others Bap Kennedy, Bagatelle and Skerryvore.

The Rathlin Sound Maritime Festival is aimed at celebrating and promoting local maritime heritage, history, culture, music and food and has grown out of a number of conversations within local communities as well as last year’s successful Sailing Regatta. There has also been great interest from various organisations throughout Northern Ireland and beyond to participate.

This festival is centred on Rathlin Sound, the body of water that lies between Rathlin and Ballycastle and is about inspiring a passion for the sea by bringing together a rich mix of activities and events both on the sea and on land with an overall maritime theme. Events will focus on Ballycastle for the opening weekend and Rathlin for the closing weekend with plenty of activities in both locations throughout the Festival dates.
With on the water and seaside based ‘get involved’ activities including kayaking, diving, paddleboarding, surfing and more, historic and modern sea craft, dinghy and yacht racing, competitions, local and historic talks, tours, guided walks, open days and exhibitions there will be something to interest everyone including plenty of family friendly activities. The Festival will also include a special seafood themed food and craft market with cookery demonstrations, and a Can’t Cook Won’t Cook challenge by local Councillors. Local cafes, bars and restaurants will also be offering special menus and events throughout the event to celebrate our unique food offering. In the evenings there will be a wealth of entertainment to choose from including music, drama and films including great local, national and international singers and bands.
Full details of all activities and events can be found in the Festival program available at Ballycastle Visitor Information Centre and online on Moyle’s new tourism website at http://www.heartofthecausewaycoastandglens.com >, and also on facebook at http://www.facebook/HeartofCCAG or the festivals dedicated page as well as on twitter @heartofccag Head to Ballycastle and Rathlin Island at the heart of the Causeway Coast and Glens this bank holiday weekend 24 May to 02 June for a fantastic family friendly event listed as one of the top events for this year in the NITB International Visitor Guide, on The Gathering website and in Belfast Telegraph’s Ultimate Events Guide for NI.

Tourism and Outdoor Recreation Opportunities in Ballycastle Forest

13 05 2013

Ballycastle Forest

  Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has welcomed a report by Outdoor Recreation NI which explores the Tourist and Outdoor Recreation Opportunities in the three major forests in Moyle, Glenariffe, Ballypatrick and Ballycastle.

 Councillor Cunningham continued “Ballycastle Forest located as it is so close to Ballycastle town centre has enormous potential. We need to make the most of our visitor and tourist potential, BallycastleForest is home to many important archaeological sites, souterrains, megalithic tombs and standing stones and there are many stories to be told about the history of the area.”

 “Ballycastle Town Partnership hopes to extend the TowRiver path as far as the entrance to the forest, so there is no reason why the old narrow gauge railway line cannot be developed to form a “Glentaisie Trail” which would facilitate walking, running, cycling, orienteering  and horse riding. There are a host of sporting events which could be staged in our wonderful surroundings.

 The Moyle Way and the climb of Knocklayde can be better promoted, alongside the Red Squirrel safari. With proper planning and marketing we can realise the fantastic opportunity which is on our doorstep.”

Plans for pilot 20mph speed limit scheme welcomed

12 05 2013



Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has welcomed a proposed pilot 20mph speed limit scheme to be developed by DRD Roads Service at Whitehall, Ballycastle. It is proposed to carry out the works later this financial year.

 Councillor Cunningham who has been a strong supporter of the local “Twenty is plenty” campaign also called for the Assembly to bring for the necessary legislation from Conall McDevitt’s Private Members Bill which will reduce the speed limit on residential and urban roads from 30mph to 20mph. 

 “The main elements of the scheme at Whitehall will consist of the introduction of a 20mph speed limit in the Whitehall area without the addition of traffic calming features. The scheme aims to manage vehicle speeds and driver behaviour.”

“I believe that by reducing the speed limit on designated restricted roads we could act positively to reduce collisions and fatalities on our roads. Road injuries are amongst the leading causes of loss of life and disability worldwide, and regionally, a reduction in road related death and injury is a major aim of public policy.

“Guidance issued by the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence recommended the introduction of 20mph speed limits and zones as an important way of improving safety

Consultation on Ballycastle Town Service Bus Timetable

11 05 2013


The future provision of Ballycastle Town bus service – which has proven to be a vital service for young families and the elderly in Ballycastle, is to be the subject of a consultation.

 Translink are encouraging local residents to attend a consultation evening to have their say on the Ballycastle town bus service from May 2013 onwards. The consultation evening will be held on Thursday 16th May at 7.00pm in the offices of Moyle Council.

Councillor Dónal Cunningham urged the local community to come along to the event

“The continuation of the service which connects residential areas with shops and health services will be determined by passenger demand. If you are unable to attend the event on Thursday night make sure to forward your views to Translink, Railway Place Coleraine BT52 1PQ”

Cllr Cunningham said: “The long-term viability of the service will very much depend on passenger usage. Any future time-table must be carefully planned and tailored to meet the needs of the community, so that costs are  justified  and the future of a much appreciated service is secured”

North Antrim SDLP position on proposed Apprentice Boys of Derry parade in Dunloy on 19 May 2013

6 05 2013

The SDLP calls on the Parades Commission to issue a determination preventing this parade from going through the village of Dunloy. 

 In the continued absence of engagement with the local community by the Apprentice Boys, this parade should be restricted so that it does not enter the village.

 This is a proposed parade to a church but there is much more to any loyal order parade than a mere excursion to church.  The history of problems with parades in Dunloy and the unacceptability of them to the local population mean that a parade is an impossibility at the present time. This can only be addressed by the Apprentice Boys entering into serious engagement with local residents.  Any loyal parade in the absence of such engagement and agreement would be highly contentious in the area and would be very damaging to community relations. 

 The Parades Commission has routinely, and rightly, served a determination on every loyal order parade in Dunloy since 1998.  We urge the Commission to sustain this approach

Fáilte mór romhaibh – welcome for Co Antrim Fleadh visitors

6 05 2013

Co Antrim Fleadh

Fáilte mór romhaibh go léir go Bhaile an Chaistil agus fáilte spesialta dóibh siúid a bhí linn cheana. Tá súil agam go mbainfidh sibh sult mór as an Fhleadh. Is mór an onóir dúinn an Fleadh a bheith anseo arís. Tá clú and cáil ar ár Bhaile mar ionad ceoil agus craic agus beidh deire seachtaine iontach ag iomraitheoirí agus ag cuairteoirí comh maith. Ar agaidh leis an cheol.
Welcome to you all to Ballycastle and a special welcome to those of you who were with us before. I hope you will get great pleasure from the Fleadh. It is a great honour for us to have the Fleadh back in our town which is famous for its music and craic and everyone, competitors and visitors will have a great time. On with the music