Support our Midwives

30 04 2015


Today members of the Royal College of Midwives  will start industrial action with a four-hour strike from 8am-12pm, along with members of the Society of Radiographers.

This will be followed by further action starting from Friday, 1 May to Thursday, 7 May.

This will consist of RCM members only working overtime if it is agreed they will be paid for it, and taking all the breaks they are entitled to.

This is the first time in its 134-year history that members of the RCM in Northern Ireland have voted to take strike action.

The RCM and its local representatives have been working with hospitals to ensure safe services will be available to women in need of urgent care, such as those in labour.

The action follows the executive’s rejection of the independent NHS Pay Review Body’s (PRB) recommendation of a 1% pay rise last year and no announcement about pay for this year for health and social care (HSC) staff in Northern Ireland.

Agreements on pay have been reached with the governments in England following industrial action, and in Wales following negotiation. The Scottish Government accepted the PRB recommendations in full.

Breedagh Hughes, director for Northern Ireland at the RCM, said: ‘This is not a step that our midwife and maternity support worker members take lightly. They have been treated shoddily by the Executive and employers, who have left them with no alternative but to make a stand.

‘Politicians wonder why the public does not afford them more respect when they deny a very modest pay award to hard working NHS staff. The cost of living is rising sharply and this is set against a history of pay restraint and pay freezes for the staff delivering our vital and valuable healthcare.

‘There is still time to avert this action; to talk, negotiate and reach an agreement. I ask politicians and employers to think of the pressure midwives have been under for years.

‘I ask them to think of the responsibility midwives have every single day, caring for both mother and baby. And I ask them to think how it feels to those same midwives when, despite all that, they are told they aren’t worth a 1% pay rise. Think about all of that, think about the fact that other UK countries have shown they value their staff, and come to the negotiating table.’

She added: ‘Investing in staff is an investment in services and an investment in better care.’

Senior RCM staff and RCM representatives will be on the picket lines and demonstrating at Trusts across Northern Ireland.

‘You can’t eat a flag’

28 04 2015

Moyle Sign

Ballycastle SDLP representative Dónal Cunningham has expressed his disappointment at a motion due to be presented to the new Causeway Coast and Glens Council which may see the flying of a flag at the offices of the former Moyle Council in Ballycastle.

“The creation of new ‘super councils’ gave Councillors an opportunity for a fresh start and the chance to give united civic leadership. This was the chance to ensure all shades of opinion would be respected. Sadly it looks like this opportunity is to be lost.  Causeway Coast and Glens could learn much from the Moyle example, who from its formation in 1973 chose not to fly any flag, and led the way by ensuring partnerships and power sharing worked. The Moyle example was entirely neutral in character, where rights, responsibilities and relationships were firmly respected. ”

Mr. Cunningham continued “The proposer of this motion shows a complete lack of understanding of Moyle and our efforts to work hard to maintain and improve community relations.  Ballycastle town and its community has long been an example to other areas displaying a neutral and welcoming environment to everyone.  The Ballycastle community stood together to defend the health service provision at Dalriada Hospital,  will stand together to oppose early years funding cuts, education and library service cuts, public transport cuts and will continue to lobby for town centre improvements and jobs. We have no desire to be flag wavers.”

“John Hume often repeated the Jim Larkin quote that ‘you can’t eat a flag’, and most people will agree that in the second decade of the 21st century , Council  would be better off dealing with  ordinary bread and butter issues which are more urgent than flags. Ballycastle does not need any flags, whether those flags are to fly officially on a Council building or unofficially on a lamp-post or other public property”

Moyle ‘Songs of Praise’ a great success

26 04 2015

Many thanks to all who contributed to the success of last Sunday’s  ‘Songs of Praise’. Tara McHugh, Siobhan Mullin, Kate Elliott,Jane  Leighton, Barbara Ward, Ian Williamson, Maurice McCurdy, Marie Louise McClarey, Maeve Walsh, Berkeley White, Lois Chambers,  Corrymeela, Cross and Passion College, Ballycastle High School, Dalriada Hospital , Ballycastle Church Action, Good Morning Ballycastle,Causeway Peace Group, Rev John Stanbridge, Fr Brian Daly, Ballycastle Presbyterian Church Songs of Praise 2

Moyle Songs of Praise

15 04 2015


Songs of Praise – an interdenominational service of hymns will be held in Ballycastle Presbyterian Church on Sunday 19th April at 7.00pm as a recognition of 42 years of Moyle Council. Everyone Welcome

Vigil for Clódagh

11 04 2015

Candle lit Speaking after attending a candle lit vigil in Ballycastle Diamond organised through a social media group on Facebook called ‘forclódagh’ , Ballycastle SDLP representative Dónal Cunningham said “Tonight was an opportunity for the local community to show their solidarity with the family of 18 year old Clódagh Arbuckle who continues to fight for her life in Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital after the terrible car crash on Easter Monday morning, and to again extend our condolences to the families and friends of Johnny Black and Robin Wilson.

“Our thoughts and prayers remain with Clódagh, her family and the health professionals who continue to care for her”.

Cross and Passion College – All Ireland Champions

4 04 2015


Ballycastle SDLP representative Dónal Cunningham has warmly congratulated Cross and Passion College on their All Ireland Final Colleges win in Thurles, on a scoreline of 1-16 to 1-12 the North Antrim College showed all of their battling qualities to edge out Mountrath Community School and lift the Paddy Buggy Cup for the third time in 8 years.

Chairman’s Diary 30/03/15

2 04 2015