Lá an Dreoilín

26 12 2013

St Stephens Day Wren

Lá an Dreoilín (Wren day) is celebrated in Ireland on 26 December, St. Stephen’s Day . The Wren celebration is likely to have descended from the Celtic Samhain mythology The tradition consists of “hunting” a fake wren. The captured bird was tied to a pole and kept alive and paraded through the town or village by mummers who collected money for the wren’s release, as the popular mummers’ parade song states ‘A penny or tuppence would do it no harm’.  The money was used to host a dance for the town or village, held that night. Enjoy Lá an Dreoilín – Happy St Stephen’s Day.

Nollaig Shona 2013

23 12 2013

To the many families, who mourn the absence or loss of a loved one at this time of year, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Have a Happy and Peaceful Christmas.

Gloria in Excelsis Deo

Ireland’s Greatest launches new appeal to end starvation

19 12 2013











Former SDLP leader and Nobel Peace Laureate John Hume is supporting a new appeal to the worldwide combined Christian Churches to become actively involved in a concerted effort to end the premature deaths of tens of thousands of destitute children from the Developing World who needlessly die every day from starvation or dreadful diseases resulting from malnutrition.

Mr Hume (voted ‘Ireland’s Greatest’ person of all time in an RTÉ poll in 2010) is backing the appeal by 80-year-old fellow Derryman Eamon Melaugh – whose charity Action with Effect provides care to destitute lepers, orphans and street children in India.

Mr Hume said: “I am delighted to support Eamon Melaugh’s appeal to the worldwide combined Christian Churches.

“Eamon’s efforts make a compelling call on all of us to rally against poverty in the world which is limiting people’s rights, living conditions and lives.

“While high level actions by governments internationally are important, there is also the need for solidarity from churches, communities, aid agencies and individuals.

“Eamon is a truly inspirational character who has shown over time a very strong commitment to helping others and encouraging people here to be mindful of the need not just to appreciate what we have, but to give what we can to assist those in need.”

For additional information visit www.actionwitheffect.org

Christmas Open Day at Corrymeela

15 12 2013

Join Corrymeela at their Annual Christmas Open Day today Sunday 15th December from 2.30 – 5pm.

They have delicious snacks, carol singing, christmas stalls and a very special guest for the children. No need to book, just come along

Ballycastle needs social housing

10 12 2013


Social Housing







Ballycastle SDLP Councillor, Dónal Cunningham has urged social development minister Nelson McCausland to concentrate his resources in building more social housing instead of spending time and money on how homes are allocated.

“With the current waiting list for social housing in Ballycastle standing at 325, the Minister needs to give more attention to building more social housing”

Councillor Cunningham was speaking as the minister published research into how the system allocating public housing can be improved.

  Cllr Cunningham said the SDLP has three key principles when it comes to the allocation of housing which should be based on need, on a fair and equitable basis and protecting the most vulnerable.

 “The SDLP is very much aware of our roots and we are here to protect the principle of the Housing Executive “

 “However, the minister has fallen far short of his predecessors when it comes to housing and helping those in need of a home. This year, £18 million was handed back to the Executive as a result of an under spend. That represents a colossal failure on the part of the minister. “

 “Whilst the minister is spending time and money on researching how to allocate houses, the simple fact is there are not enough houses and that is where the minister should be concentrating his resources.”



Amnesty video

9 12 2013

New from Amnesty: North Korea: The inside story

8 12 2013

Gaeltacht Bursary Scheme

6 12 2013


Tá sé mar aidhm ag an Scéim Sparánachtaí Gaeltachta níos mó daoine a mhealladh i dtreo na Gaeilge. Tugann sí deis d’iarratasóirí incháilithe, beag beann ar thraidisiún nó ar chúlra, freastal ar chúrsa Gaeilge le linn an tsamhraidh.

Is é cuspóir na Scéime Sparánachtaí Gaeltachta cúnamh praiticiúil a chur ar fáil dóibh siúd atá cláraithe leis an dúshlán Líofa agus atá ag éirí bheith líofa sa Ghaeilge faoi 2015. Forbraíodh an scéim agus bunaíodh na critéir le tacú le daoine aonair ó thaobh costais de, rud a d’fhéadfadh bac a chur orthu freastal ar chúrsa Gaeilge sa Ghaeltacht.

Beidh Scéim Sparánachtaí Gaeltachta 2014 oscailte do rannpháirtithe a shásaíonn na critéir seo a leanas:

• Cláraithe leis an dúshlán Líofa 2015;

• Níl sé/sí ag fáil aon sparánacht eile;

• Tá cónaí air/uirthi i gceann amháin de na sé chontae i dtuaisceart na hÉireann: Ard Mhacha, Fear Manach, Aontroim, Doire, An Dún nó Tír Eoghain.

Gheobhaidh iarratasóirí incháilithe a shásaíonn ceann amháin de na critéir seo a leanas ag am an iarratais sparánacht iomlán (.i. Táille an Chúrsa agus Lóistín);

• Tá an t-iarratasóir nó páiste/páistí an iarratasóra ag fáil béilí scoile saor in aisce, mar atá faofa ag an Bhord Oideachais agus Leabharlann áitiúil (beidh ar iarratasóirí cóip de litir faofa an Bhoird a chur ar fáil); nó tá an

t-iarratasóir ag fáil ceann amháin de na nithe seo a leanas:


• Creidmheas Pinsin;

• Liúntas Tacaíochta Ioncaim;

• Liúntas Ioncambhunaithe Cuardaitheora Poist;

• Liúntas Ioncambhunaithe Fostaíochta agus Tacaíochta;

• Eilimint rathaíochta de Chreidmheas Pinsin Stáit;

• Tacaíocht faoi Acht 3 um Inimirce agus Tearmann; nó

• Tá daoine óga incháilithe fosta má tá siad ag fáil: Liúntas

• Tacaíochta Ioncaim, Liúntas Ioncambhunaithe Cuardaitheora Poist nó Liúntas Ioncambhunaithe Fostaíochta agus Tacaíochta.


Ag brath ar an éileamh ar na cúrsaí, b’fhéidir go dtabharfaí páirt-sparánacht (.i. táille an chúrsa amháin) do rannpháirtithe Líofa a bhfuil cónaí orthu sa tuaisceart ach níl siad ag fáil na sochar thuasluaite.

Beidh an scéim oscailte d’iarratasóirí a chláraigh le haghaidh cúrsa cheana féin fad is go sásaíonn siad na critéir.


Más mian leat iarratas a chur isteach tig leat an fhoirm iarratais a íoslódáil ó láithreán Gréasáin na Roinne Cultúir, Ealaíon agus Fóillíochta: www.dcalni.gov.uk


 Gabh chuig an áit a bhaineann le Líofa agus lean an nasc cuí.

Ina áit sin, tig leat foirm a iarraidh ach scairt a chur ar:

028 9051 5057.


Ba chóir cóip chrua den fhoirm iarratais a bheith seolta ar ais chuig: DCAL, Brainse Teangacha, 7ú hUrlár, Malartán an Chabhsa, 1-7 Sráid Bedford, Béal Feirste, BT2 7EG faoi 4pm ar an 4 Aibreán 2014.


Líofa – Foghlaim í. Úsáid í



The Gaeltacht Bursary Scheme is a measure aimed at broadening the appeal of the Irish language and offers the opportunity, irrespective of traditions and backgrounds, for eligible applicants, to attend an Irish Language summer course.

The purpose of the Gaeltacht Bursary Scheme is to provide practical assistance to those who have signed up to the Líofa challenge in pledging to reach fluency in Irish by 2015. The scheme has been developed and the criteria established to support individuals with financial outlays which may otherwise be a barrier to them accessing an Irish Language Gaeltacht course.

The Gaeltacht Bursary Scheme 2014 will be open to participants who meet the following criteria:

• Signed up to the Líofa 2015 challenge;

• Are not in receipt of any other scholarship;

• Reside in one of the six counties in the north of Ireland:

ie Armagh, Fermanagh, Antrim, Derry, Down, or Tyrone.

Eligible applicants who meet one of the following criteria at the time of application will receive a full bursary (ie Course Fee and Accommodation):

• Applicant or the applicant’s child(ren) are in receipt of free school meals as approved by the local Education and Library Board (applicants will be required to provide a copy of the Board’s award letter); or are in receipt of one of the following:

• Pension Credit;

• Income Support;

• Income based Job Seekers Allowance;

• Income related Employment and Support Allowance;

• Guarantee element of State Pension Credit;

• Support under the Immigration and Asylum Act 3; or

• Young people who receive Income Support, income based Job Seeker’s Allowance or income related Employment and Support Allowance, in their own right, are also eligible.


Depending on the demand for the courses, part bursaries (i.e. course fee only) may be made available for Líofa participants who reside in the north but are not on the benefits detailed above. The scheme will be open to applicants who may have already registered for a course but who meet the criteria. If you wish to apply you can download the application form by following the link on the Líofa section of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure website: www.dcalni.gov.uk

Alternatively, you can request a form by telephoning: 028 9051 5057.

A signed hard copy of the application form should be returned to: DCAL, Languages Branch, 7th Floor, Causeway Exchange, 1-7 Bedford Street, Belfast, BT2 7EG by 4pm on 4 April 2014.

Líofa – Learn Irish. Use Irish.


“Our nation has lost its greatest son, our people have lost a father”

5 12 2013


Former South African president Nelson Mandela has died.

In a statement on South African national TV, President Jacob Zuma said Mr Mandela had “departed” and was at peace.

Our nation has lost its greatest son, our people have lost a father”

“What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves,”

“Fellow South Africans, Nelson Mandela brought us together and it is together that we will bid him farewell.”

He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize along with F.W.deKlerk in 1993 and elected South Africa’s first black president in 1994.

Ballycastle’s Carol Services 2013

1 12 2013

3 Churches 2

Ballycastle’s proud tradition of inter-denomitional work continues for Christmas 2013 with each of the town’s main faith communities hosting an shared Carol Service.

The first of which is to be hosted by Ballycastle Presbyterian Church on Sunday 15th December at 7.00pm, followed by St Patrick’s and St Brigid’s Chapel on Thursday 19th December at 7.30pm and then Holy Trinity Church of Ireland on Sunday 23rd December at 6.30pm.

There is no better example than Ballycastle and it’s people, as our wider society (at this time) begins to contemplate and attempt to live out what it means to embrace difference, heal divisions and enable reconciliation.