SDLP Council group call for rates relief for Community based sports clubs

11 02 2013

Community Sport

Speaking on behalf of the SDLP Councillor Group on Moyle Council, Dónal Cunningham committed their full support for the call on the Minister for Finance and Personnel to raise the rates relief for Amateur Community Sports Clubs from 80% to 100%.

“The SDLP Assembly group fully supported the original proposal brought to the Assembly by Robin Swann, in November 2011, it is important particularly in the current economic climate that this issue remains on the Assembly agenda. ”

“Many local community based sports clubs are experiencing severe financial challenges, for some their continued existence is finely balanced. The contribution and benefits these clubs provide for local communities needs to be recognised. Not only do our clubs encourage participation in sport and promote healthy lifestyles, they also have a positive impact on the reduction of crime and anti- social behaviour, and promote community relations acting as the hub for much of local community activity”

“We want the Minister to raise the rates relief to 100% without imposing any further bureaucracy or red tape on the already over worked club administrators “

Assembly must protect Hurling and Camogie

29 10 2012


SDLP Ballycastle Councillor, Dónal Cunningham is calling on the Assembly to work with the Irish Government to protect the future of Hurling and Camogie as the supply of ash to make sticks is under serious threat from a rampant disease which is sweeping across Europe.

“The UK and Irish Government’s decision to ban all imports of young ash plants and seed from countries hit by the fungal infection known as Ash Dieback that has spread like wildfire may be just the start of tighter controls.

“Before the introduction of these new controls, stick-makers agreed to work from Ash either imported from countries free of the disease or that any Ash being brought in from Continental Europe would be in plank form with the bark sawn off.

“Hurling sticks are made by artisan craftsmen in small cottage industries. The Assembly needs to work with the Irish Government to safeguard the stick making industry and to secure the future of our national sports.”

Golds at the Paralympics

2 09 2012

We all must admire the guts and dedication of those who have either been born with a disability – or who become disabled through accident or injury and who go on to become top at their sport.
Those of us who enjoy full health and ability should be humbled by the strength, courage and energy shown by the athletes and their families.
We can be particularly proud of local competitors including Co Down swimmer Bethany Firth won gold in the 100m Backstroke on Friday night, and visually impaired sprinter Jason Smyth from Eglinton Co Derry who won gold in the 100m and Glengormley’s Michael McKillop claimed victory in the 800m setting a new world record on his way.
Darragh McDonald an amputee from Gorey Co Wexford won gold in the 400m freestyle S6

Cunningham backs defibrillator call.

18 08 2012

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham backed the proposal before Moyle District Council calling for defibrillators to be installed at all Council sports and community facilities in Moyle.
A defibrillator is a non-invasive device that uses electrode patches placed on the chest to deliver a small electric pulse to restart heart function.
Last season Premier League footballer Fabrice Muamba, suffered a cardiac arrest while playing for Bolton. This incident and the player’s subsequent rehabilitation, refocused public consciousness on sudden arrhythmic death syndrome (SADS) – a disorder which closer to home had caused the deaths of Tyrone gaelic footballer Cormac McAnallen and Armagh college rugby player John McCall.
“SADS is no respecter of age or apparent fitness, so if a small piece of equipment used by a trained operator can save one life, we should be secure in the knowledge that all our leisure facilities have one.”

Katie’s golden moment

9 08 2012

Ireland won their first gold medal of the 2012 London Olympics when Bray’s Katie Taylor completed a lifetime dream by when she beat Russia’s Sofya Ochigava 10-8 in the women’s lightweight final at the ExCel Arena.

Cheered on by a capacity crowd, amid choruses of “Óle Óle Óle” and “The Fields of Athenry” Katie Taylor had to dig deep against an opponent who had previously beaten her.

After enduring a tense wait at the end of a tough fourth round, the referee duly raised Katie’s hand to spark off wild celebrations and emotional scenes throughout the arena and the towns and villages of Ireland.

U 21 Hurling Champions

9 06 2012

Dónal Cunningham has congratulated the McQuillan GAC’s U21 Hurlers – winners of the 2012 Antrim U21 Hurling Championship. In a thrilling encounter played on Saturday night in Loughgiel they edged out rivals Cushendall by a single point, a injury time point from corner forward Conor McGarry proving to be the winner.
“This group of players have proved themselves to be a credit to themselves,their families, the town and it’s community. Like most Ballycastle supporters, our hope is to they go on to achieve similar success at Senior level”

The Heineken “All- Ireland” Final

18 05 2012

The 17th Heineken Cup Final at Twickenham Stadium on Saturday is a strictly Irish affair as defending champions Leinster take on Ulster for the Europe’s most coveted Rugby club trophy.
Irish rugby is guaranteed the trophy for the fifth time in seven seasons.
1999 champions Ulster, the first Irish side to win the tournament, have ended a 13-year wait and are through to their second final appearance, on the other hand Leinster are bidding to be crowned European champions for an unprecedented third time in four seasons.
It is the first all-Irish final in the history of the tournament.

Comhghairdeas do na Seomrogaí

17 03 2012

Seamróga Loch Gaol Aontroma buacach i gcluiche ceannais chraobh club iomána, Cúl Doire buailte acu 4-13 0-17
Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has congratulated Antrim and Ulster hurling champions Loughgiel Shamrocks on their St Patrick’s Day victory in the All-Ireland Club Senior Hurling Championship final at Croke Park.
The Loughgiel men convincingly beat Coolderry of Offaly 4-13 to 0-17in the final
Councillor Cunningham added “I have great memories of the last occasion when Loughgiel reigned as All Ireland Champions and the positive effect it had on club hurling in Antrim. Massive crowds enjoyed the club hurling scene of 1983, I particularly remember the thrills of a closely fought Feis Cup semi- final and replay between the Shamrocks and Cushendall played at the Ballycastle pitch. Also a classic “friendly” v Galway champions Kiltormer which served as the opener to the new Rasharkin pitch and as a Ballycastle man I can never forget the epic 1983 County final which saw Ballycastle victorious.
If interest in Club hurling in 2012 can match what was on offer in 1983 we are in for a treat.

Cunningham supports Ballycastle Judo Club

24 11 2011

Voicing his disappointment on hearing that Ballycastle Judo club had been unsuccessful in attaining funding from Sport NI, SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has called on Moyle Sports Advisory Council to do all that they can to assist the new club.
“Since their formation Ballycastle Judo Club have been an outstanding success.. I am familiar with the founding members of Ballycastle Judo Club and can not speak highly enough of their contribution to community life since their formation earlier this year.
I am impressed by the level of cross community participation in the clubs activities, and the special efforts made to include woman and girls, people with disabilities, older people, and ethnic minorities.”

Estonia 0-4 Republic of Ireland

11 11 2011

The Republic of Ireland all but sealed their place in Euro 2012 after a 4-0 away win in Tallinn.
Keith Andrews opened the scoring with a header following a cross from McGready in the 14th minute added to in the second half by goals from Jon Walters and two from captain Robbie Keane.