Moyle SDLP Councillors appalled by findings of Ombudsman’s report into Campbell murder

27 06 2014

 Joe Campbell

Moyle SDLP Councillors Margaret Anne McKillop and Dónal Cunningham have said that they are appalled but not surprised by the findings in the Police Ombudsman’s report which pointed to failings by the senior management of the RUC which could have prevented the murder of Sergeant Joe Campbell.
The SDLP councillors were speaking following the release of a report by Investigators from the Police Ombudsman’s Office relating to the murder of Sergeant Joe Campbell in Cushendall on 25th February 1977.


 Councillor McKillop who lives in Cushendall said “Sergeant Campbell was a very popular and well-respected member of the community. Locally it was always believed that Joe had been under threat, and then murdered because he had discovered and reported evidence of collusion with loyalist paramilitaries.   The Police Ombudsman’s report clearly indicates that there was sufficient, reliable evidence that senior police officers, including the then Head of Special Branch and quite probably the Chief Constable, were aware of concerns about a threat to his life and failed to act upon them.”


 Councillor Cunningham said “It is of great concern that documents relating to this case have disappeared, and that some retired RUC officers refused to co-operate with the investigation. In the interests of truth and justice it is important that a fuller investigation to discover the complete truth is carried out.” 




Cumann MacÚilin Ballycastle successfully host Feile na nGael group stages

21 06 2014


Ballycastle Councillor and current chair of Moyle Council Dónal Cunningham paid tribute to McQuillan GAC  and Ballycastle Camogie Club for  what he  called the professionalism of their staging of the group stages and Cup and Shield quarter finals  of the national u-14 Hurling Feile na  nGael tournament.

“If the success of any tournament is measured in the numbers of people who participate; spectators and visitors who enjoy the event  then the group stages/Shield and Cup quarter finals of Feile na nGael has to be declared a magnificent success.

In glorious sunshine in Pairc MacUilin over Friday and Saturday, the  club played host to top Dublin side St Oliver Plunkett’s Eoghan Ruadh with the vistors impressing with a 3-9 to 0-4 win, up in Loughgiel  Kilkenny’s Bennettsbridge  finished 4 points ahead of Loughgiel 0-9 to 0-5.

With all of the action in Ballycastle on Saturday morning Plunketts continued their winning streak with a 4-5 to 0-5 win over Loughgiel, meanwhile Bennettsbridge set up an intriguing final group match with a 1-8 to 0-2 win over McQuillans Ballycastle. In a tense and pulsating final group game  Bennettsbridge edged out Plunketts by the narrowest of margins 3-7 to 4-3, an ever improving Ballycastle scored their first victory of the group with a 2-3 to 1-5 win over Loughgiel Shamrocks.

The various quarter finals saw victories for Dunloy over Plunketts, Cushendall over Loughgiel, St Eamon’s over Bennettsbridge and Ballycastle over Castletown.

A fabulous few days of hurling in splendid facilities (well done Cathal and groundstaff). Good Luck to all the sides in tomorrows semi finals.




Sympathy on the passing of Gerry Conlon

21 06 2014



Alex Attwood, SDLP MLA for West Belfast, has expressed his deep sympathy following news of the passing of Gerry Conlon. Mr Attwood said

 “On my own behalf and that of the SDLP, I extend deep sympathy to Gerry’s partner and his family. May he rest in peace with his late parents. 

‘He was a big character. Gerry made a big and lasting impression on all those he met. He had a great resilience, an incredible warmth and a huge heart.

‘He also had a deep commitment to justice and democracy. He stood with all those who had been denied their rights and suffered wrong.

 ‘The miscarriage of justice perpetrated against him, his Dad and his friends was shocking. The campaign of Gerry and others concentrated a spotlight on the wrongs of the State like never before. His eventual release was very significant in itself, was also a catalyst for campaigns against other miscarriages of justice.

‘Gerry will be missed as a person and missed for the vigor and support he brought to other campaigns for justice. His death at 60 years of age is far too young for someone who had

Since 2000 speeding has killed a classroom of our children

20 06 2014

Ballycastle must position itself as hub for Tidal energy jobs

11 06 2014

Tidal Turbine

SDLP Councillor and newly elected Chair of Moyle Council Dónal Cunningham has called for Ballycastle to become the hub for tidal energy research and development.

Speaking after attending a public information event with the Fair Head Tidal Energy Project who are proposing 100MW renewable energy plant powered purely by the tide.

Councillor Cunningham said ,” Tidal energy represents a commercially viable and environmentally sustainable solution to low carbon power generation. We have two significant and exciting projects in the pipeline for the tidal streams off Fair Head and Torr Head, to me it makes real business sense for the area to become a centre for marine energy research, fabrication and deployment supply chain. We need to capitalise on our unique position and natural resources to create jobs and opportunities for the area

“The Fair Head project is being developed by DP Energy and DEME solutions will generate the equivalent electricity to power an estimated 70,000 homes by 2020. The development area is centred approximately 2km to the east of Fair Head off the north Antrim coast and around 1km at its nearest point to land.”

“A lot needs to be done to strengthen our capabilities, Council, DETI, Invest NI all need to work together so that the area can support the growth and the successful delivery of the tidal energy projects and maximise the possibility of jobs which our geographical location should provide us.”



Dunloy farm tragedy is heartbreaking

9 06 2014

 Farm accident


SDLP Dunloy representative Harry Boyle has expressed his deep sympathy at news of the death of an 8 year old boy in a slurry accident near Dunloy.


Mr Boyle said: “This is a heartbreaking tragedy both for the family of young Robert Christie and the wider community in North Antrim.


“I, like many others, have known the family for some time. They have been deeply rooted in the local community and that is clearly evidenced by the fact that the family often travelled to help elderly farmers nearby. 


“The Dunloy and Loughgiel community will rally around the Christie family to offer our heartfelt support, just as they have always been a source of support for us in difficult times. I want to express my deep condolences to Simone and her two daughters at the loss of Robert. I also want to offer my prayers for Bertie who is fighting for his life in the Causeway hospital.


“Coming from a farming family, I know all too well the dangers of slurry. I share in the pain that the Christie’s are experiencing right now, as will all those in the farming community.


SDLP Loughgiel representative Joanne McKeown added:


“Slurry remains a continuous danger on farms and sadly has taken another innocent life this weekend. Robert’s young age only adds to the desperate sadness of this news.


“I want to extend my deep sympathies to Simone, her two children and all those experiencing pain at this difficult time.

Cunningham congratulates Open Hydro

8 06 2014

 Open Hydro silent

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has congratulated Open Hydro, part of the consortium developing a 100MW tidal energy farm off Torr Head Co Antrim, on their selection as supplier of tidal turbines in a pilot tidal project at Paimpol-Bréhat in Brittany, France .

 Councillor Cunningham a keen supporter of renewables said “This is good news for an Irish firm, it is great to know that there is international confidence in Open Hydro and it’s technology. Open Hydro’s turbines are completely submerged and not visible above sea level. We are keen that the most up to date and effective technology is deployed locally. “

 “ Two OpenHydro turbines are to be installed on the Paimpol-Bréhat site which will test their performance while connected to the grid. This will demonstrate their long-term reliability under real conditions.”

Quadrangle Productions take the Riverside Theatre by storm

1 06 2014

Quadrangle logo 

Ballycastle based youth and community drama group ‘Quadrangle Productions’ brought their ‘Big Pick and Mix Variety Concert’ to Coleraine’s Riverside Theatre and left with a rousing standing ovation the likes of which the esteemed venue will rarely have experienced.

In a show that brought together everything from contemporary choreography to the sounds of Lady Gaga and Lana Del Ray, self scripted short dramas, creative writing, music, song and dance all intertwined with classic pieces from Oscar Wilde, Don Taylor and Nikolai Gogol- the group excelled in all aspects of their performance.

Councillor Dónal Cunningham said “Quadrangle are a wonderful group who work so hard providing opportunites for our young people whether in acting or dance , musical workshops or performances such as last night.”

“All of the participants have developed new skills and have grown their confidence, creativity and imagination. Caroline, Dominic and their leadership team of Lee, Kelly Ann and Michael have shown such generosity, commitment, organisation and communication and deserve all our praise”