Overview of Social Security Benefit System and Welfare Reform

24 01 2017


Overview of Social Security Benefit System and Welfare Reform
Thursday 2nd February 2017, 5.30pm – 8.00pm,  CRUN Building,  1 Brook Street, Coleraine

This FREE course provides a basic overview and introduction to welfare reform, including Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment and the mitigations package. This will enable participants to answer general queries, recognise when a client or service user may not be claiming what they are entitled to and when they may need a referral to specialist support.

Who Should Attend: 
The course is open to anyone involved in the community or in supporting roles who would like to become better informed about Welfare Reform.

This training is provided by the Citizens Advice Bureau NI and funded by DfC. Light refreshments will be available from 5.30pm

How to Book:
Call 028 7034 7032  or email community.development@causewaycoastandglens.gov.uk
R.S.V.P by the Tuesday 31st January
Please provide the names, organisation details, contact numbers and email addresses for all participants you wish to book on to the course. Places are limited and will be allocated to eligible individuals on a first come, first served basis.

Support Small Business Saturday

2 12 2016


Saturday 3rd December is Small Business Saturday.

Small businesses are the beating heart of our communities. It is so important to support them. So let’s bang the drum for our small businesses this Saturday.

Let’s support those who help give our community its unique identity, celebrate those who contribute so much to community, and take the time to visit some of our fantastic businesses.

Is Sinne An 56

22 09 2016

Bí linn ar an Chorr Críochach lena fháil amach cad iad impleachtaí an Bhrexit duit agus an fáth go gcaithfear meas ceart a thabhairt dár vóta “fanacht” #IsSinneAn56

Good Morning Ballycastle – Coffee Morning – Sat 8th October

19 09 2016




“Living Well” Community Engagement -Wednesday 7th September Ramoan Parish Centre 2.00pm

1 09 2016

Older people

Dalriada Pathfinder Partnership will be holding a series of meetings throughout September to speak to the community about ‘Living Well.’ ‘Living Well’ will be rolled out in Moyle to support people with chronic conditions to access services and supports which will enrich their lives. The ‘Living Well’ approach places the person at the centre of their own care and allows them to live better, with the support of the community. We hope to meet with people from local Community Groups and Representatives, Churches, Businesses, Members of local Clubs and Forums and the general public so that they can get involved and help us get it right.

The meetings follow the ‘Dalriada Pathfinder Community Mapping Event’ held on the 27th of April in Ramoan Parish Centre Ballycastle, and will be informative giving an opportunity for the community to ask questions and get involved in the project.

Dates and times area as follows –

Ballycastle – 2pm Wednesday 7th September Ramoan Parish Centre

Bushmills – 10.30am Wednesday 14th September Dunluce Parish Centre

Cushendall – 2.30pm Wednesday 14th September Old School House

Armoy – 7pm Thursday 15th September Tilly Molloy Centre

Mosside – 2.00pm Monday 26th September Mosside Presbyterian Church Hall

Rathlin – 2pm Tuesday 27th September The Branson Centre

The Dalriada Document -Professor Brendan O’Leary

31 07 2016



A very interesting document by political scientist Professor Brendan O’Leary, the following is from the introduction

“This document was written in a cottage very close to Dalriada Avenue in the village of Cushendall in the Glens of Antrim on the north-east coast of Northern Ireland. Across the North Channel the Mull of Kintyre is strikingly visible in good weather. Dál Riata, also known as Dalriada or Dalriata, was an Irish-speaking polity that included parts of western Scotland and northeastern Ireland. The argument advanced here is not a romantic fantasy that wills the resurrection of the ancient polity of Dalriada (or its language); instead the Dalriada Document responds to the fact that the present needs and mandates in historic Ulster and Scotland are in deep danger of being ignored in current political deliberations. What is sketched here is a multinational compromise of potential benefit to the peoples of these islands, and the peoples of the European Union. It respects the preferences democratically expressed in different parts of the two Unions that make up the United Kingdom and those expressed in Gibraltar in 2016, and those expressed in both parts of Ireland in 1998, and in Scotland in 1997 and 2014.”

Click to access The%20Dalriada%20Document.pdf

Special Lecture – Roger Casement – Realities and Illusions of Colonialism

27 07 2016

Casement Lecture

Tomorrow evening’s lecture will be in the Kenbane Lounge  of the Corrymeela Centre Ballycastle and will be given by John Gray former Librarian of the Linen Hall Library. John has written and broadcast extensively on Irish social and cultural history. Belfast. Amongst his publications are City in revolt: James Larkin & the Belfast dock strike of 1907 (1985), The Sans Culottes of Belfast: the United Irishmen and the men of no property (1998) and Troubled images: posters and images of the Northern Ireland conflict (2001). A Question and Answer session will follow. Please feel free to join us and bring a friend.


It is not the island that is divided, it is the people that are divided- O’Loan

17 02 2016

Province Map

Opinion piece from Cllr Declan O’Loan

No one, looking at the history of the Assembly since 1998 can be sanguine about its future prospects.  Political divisions, there and in the wider community, are so intense that they put massive strain on a government structure which is necessarily based on power sharing.

The Executive is seriously underperforming.  Lack of cohesion means that major challenges in education, health and the economy are not being faced.  Many people are not voting.  What is missing is a common sense of purpose that commands broad support in the community.

How is this to be achieved when different constitutional aspirations lie at the heart of our divisions?

John Hume pointed out that it is not the island that is divided, it is the people that are divided.  This is a statement of utter simplicity and yet of profound depth.  Anything which does not work towards uniting the people will be a failure, as it has been in the past.

The people have responded to the democratic opportunity offered under the Good Friday Agreement by electing those that they see as the strongest champions of unionism and nationalism.  That is not uniting the people.  Some see a border poll as the way forward.

They are oblivious to the fact that a simple majority in favour of a united Ireland, even if it were to happen, would not unite the people.  The United Kingdom as an entity is under severe strain, and I find it hard to see how stable devolved arrangements can be constructed.

If Scotland leaves, the position of Northern Ireland will be very strange.  But no one should think that it will then be easy to roll over into a united Ireland, and our problems will be over.  That does not satisfy the “John Hume test” of uniting the people.

Does anyone suppose that in a new united Ireland the unionist political parties, flags, parades, bonfires, paramilitary groups, would all disappear.  Is it not more likely that the more unpleasant manifestations of unionist domination would intensify in local areas.

There is no alternative to the current structures, and what we have to do is make them work for the foreseeable future.  An opposition of a sort has been agreed for the Assembly.  Maybe that will achieve something, but I am not so sure.  Some have confidence that it will somehow “normalise” our politics, and that is a fantasy.

No, the only hope is to build up much more commonality of thinking within the existing structures.  What does this mean for unionism and nationalism?

Unionist wagons are still circled

For many years, it was the reluctance of unionism to engage that made it impossible to set up power sharing structures.  Those misgivings did not disappear  when the institutions were set up.

The repeated collapses of the Assembly, the defections to less moderate parties, the founding of a new party fundamentally opposed to the current structure (and its winning of significant public support) all testify to this.

The dynamic at Stormont is a curious mixture of teamwork at times, and at others deep separation and animosity, but it is the latter which is the stronger.  Unionism and nationalism have not fully entered into a spirit of partnership.  Unionism still gives every sign of being a reluctant player.

Unionist wagons are still circled and there remains an atmosphere of siege.  Any proposed change which reflects the nationalist tradition is seen as a challenge.  These attitudes repeat themselves in grassroots communities, indeed the two levels reinforce each other.

We observe widespread flag flying, bonfires, and parades, with a highly assertive attitude towards all of these.  Loyalist paramilitaries exert strong control in local areas.  If Stormont is going to work, there has to be a major softening of these unionist attitudes.

Nationalism too needs to change.

At a very deep level. nationalism has often failed to give legitimacy to the sense of Britishness felt by many in Northern Ireland.  The historic political power held by Britain over Ireland is seen as such a deep wrong that the entire right rests with those who wish to remove all vestiges of that power.

This is most clearly seen in the mindset of certain republicans who react with hatred towards British involvement here, and regard all steps, including violence of any degree, as morally justified in order to remove it.  The basic issue around legitimacy is much more widely felt.

If we are to establish common ground, nationalism will need to do more to recognise that Britishness is implicit in the background and tradition of many people here, and if it is expressed in a reasonable and tolerant fashion, it must be found a place in a broader concept of Irishness.

In my area, I am very familiar with the stories of Rose Young, scholar of Irish, and Margaret Dobbs, one of the founders of the Glens Féis in 1904.  Both would have been instinctively unionist, but would have regarded it as absurd to suggest that they were not fully Irish.

The space for such thinking has been squeezed out by history, and we need to reclaim it.  Nor must we insist that every unionist go off to Irish classes before we can give them a full place in our concept of Irishness.

The place of violence in our history is the other area which must become a focus for examination within nationalism.  The idea that we can “unite the people” through force and at the cost of so many wrecked lives must be thoroughly rejected, as it has been by constitutional nationalists.

Many groups played their part in the violence of the last forty years, but it is asking a very great deal of unionists to place their trust in the political representatives of republicans who had a role of primacy and centrality in that violence, and have not yet come to recognise how wrong that campaign was.

The commemoration of 1916 also throws this issue into relief.  At this distance we can surely recognise that amongst the idealism and courage of the men and women of the Easter Rising, the modern concept of “uniting the people” was not their thinking.

The Proclamation refers to “differences carefully fostered by an alien government”, underestimating the difficulty of obtaining the “allegiance of every Irish man and Irish woman” to the new Republic.  As nationalists, we have tended to “blame” the unionists for partition.

We need to become aware of the contribution of nationalism to the disaster that partition has turned out to be, through failing to work for a solution which would “unite the people’.  We need a nationalism which acknowledges and accepts the sense of Britishness among many of our people, which says clearly that physical force will not be used on them, and ample space will be found for an outward looking and tolerant unionism.

We are once again at a moment of decision.  We need to implement the well established steps for dealing with the past.  That on its own will not be enough, nor will it even achieve implementation unless we enhance the trust levels.

We can continue the stop-start acrimonious character of the Assembly, or we can embark on a new journey.  A modern forward looking Northern Ireland can be constructed.  A “Northern Ireland which works” cannot be built in isolation.  The British connection is inbuilt through the funding mechanism and numerous legal links.

The Irish dimension must be reinforced in a more focused way.  People can make voting decisions based on champions for their own community, or we can get leadership towards a future with a common foundation, and support for that kind of leadership from the grassroots.

There is a responsibility on political leaders, and also on all of us

Nollaig shona do gach duine 2015

24 12 2015



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

Ballycastle Collection for Syria crisis

31 10 2015


This weekend’s after mass collections taken up by Ballycastle St.Vincent de Paul will be for the Concern Syria appeal, Contributions can be gift aided and every £1 raised can be matched by the UK Aid matching fund.

From the Concern website: –

The humanitarian suffering caused by the ongoing conflict in Syria is staggering. Hundreds of thousands of lives have been lost and more than four million people have fled to neighbouring countries since fighting began in March 2011.
Concern has been working in Syria since 2013 and, thanks to the kindness of our supporters, we have been able to provide emergency support to families caught up in the conflict, as well as help refugees in neighbouring countries such as Lebanon and Turkey.
Fleeing violence
These neighbouring countries are now home to millions of innocent victims of Syria’s brutal conflict. Most live in temporary shelter and are in desperate need of food, water and other basic necessities. While children want to get back to school and continue their education.
Life must go on
Millions more people remain in Syria surrounded by fighting and struggling to work, learn or buy food and supplies
You can help
With your support we can reach out to many more families devastated by conflict. Your donation will help deliver vital emergency supplies and clean water to people in desperate need within Syria and surrounding countries. Your gift could help a whole family in crisis:
• £10 can provide four families with water purification tablets to give them clean drinking water for one month
• £30 can provide a family with a hygiene kit consisting of buckets, water storage containers, laundry soap and soap for personal hygiene to last for three months
• £50 can give eight people access to free or subsidised bread for four months