Chairman’s Diary 16/02/15

18 02 2015


Chairman’s Diary 02/02/15

8 02 2015


Chairman’s Diary 28/07/14

29 07 2014


On the Campaign trail

4 05 2014


Campaign trail

The SDLP are standing 12 candidates in each of the electoral areas in the new Causeway Coast and Glens Council area.  Of the 12 candidates 7 (58%)are female, representing our clear intention to increase female representation in local government.

The SDLP have always been  a campaigning party and it is  only by getting out and talking to local people can we find out about the issues that affect them. To date canvassing throughout all areas has been going well and there is a definite sense that the SDLP are the party to bring about ‘Change for the Better’

Your SDLP candidates are as follows

Ballymoney – Harry Boyle and Angela Mulholland

Bann – Roisin Loftus

Benbradagh – Orla Beattie and Michael Coyle

Causeway – Maura Hickey

Coleraine – Stephanie Quigley

Limavady – Jason Allen and Gerry Mullan

The Glens – Dónal Cunningham, Joanne McKeown and Margaret Anne McKillop 

If you are interested in helping with any of the campaigns either by canvassing, distributing leaflets or by donating please contact Dónal Cunningham at






Earth Hour 2014

29 03 2014

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham is backing the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) campaign and its starry- themed ‘wish for a better future’ ahead of the global lights out event due to take place on Saturday 29th March at 8:30pm.

Cllr Cunningham said: “Our natural world is precious to all life that inhabits it, but we need to do more to protect it.  WWF’s Earth Hour reminds us that there are simple things we can all do for the planet – not just for one hour, but every day. It’s a great opportunity to bring together millions of people from across the world with one united goal – to help protect our planet.”

Earth Hour sees millions of people around the world coming together to switch off their lights for one hour in a symbolic act of support to show they care about our planet. WWF already works to tackle a lot of environmental challenges – like deforestation, threats to endangered species, and the impacts of climate change – but Earth Hour is a chance for everyone to say they’ll do their bit.

Last year, Earth Hour brought together over 10 million people in 154 countries took part. Iconic landmarks such as Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Opera House all switched off and hundreds of local communities, schools and businesses took part.

Year after year, more people sign up and join the millions of people across the globe taking part in this celebration of our beautiful planet. By switching off your lights, you will be part of a movement of people that are pledging to live more sustainably and creating a brighter future.”

To find out more about WWF’s Earth Hour and register to take part visit<file:///C:\Users\sbrown\AppData\Local\users\krollings\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary%20Internet%20Files\Content.Outlook\HRSULW4C\\earthhour> and join millions of people who are signing up to the big switch off.

Moyle misses out on Social Investment Funding

20 02 2014

Funding Direction

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Donal Cunningham has expressed his disappointment that the Moyle area has missed out in the first tranche of funding from the Social Investment Fund.

Councillor Cunningham acknowledged good projects had received funding, but said Moyle had seen nothing from the Assembly Executive.

Cllr Cunningham said: “Almost three years after the £80 million fund was announced in March 2011 – an election year – this money lay unspent by OFMDFM before the first announcements of funding were made in February 2014 – another election year.

“While I accept and welcome the funding for some good projects in other areas, this does not disguise the folly of OFMDFM controlling the Social Investment Fund and the failure of the OFMDFM to deliver.

“The SDLP very much supports money going into areas of need, but the Social Investment Fund is, and continues to be, seen as a half-baked and ill-judged intervention.

“Moyle has seen nothing from the Assembly Executive. Moyle is part of a bigger “Northern” regional group, for which only one project in Coleraine received funding.

“In the face of Westminster cuts, investing wisely is more important than ever, and capital investment projects are the only effective way of stimulating the economy. Yet, despite rising unemployment and the struggle that faces many families, the Assembly Executive has failed to bring forward a single new investment project which would benefit Moyle. Investment is what is needed for the Moyle economy.”

Single Farm Payment delays leaving farmers under pressure

20 01 2014


Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham says delays in Single Farm Payments are leaving some farmers under pressure and struggling to pay bills.

Councillor Cunningham continued “Concern is mounting as some farmers have revealed they are facing pressure to pay their autumn bills.”

“The picture is really only starting to emerge. Farmers who have contacted the SDLP say they were expecting to receive their Single Farm Payment two to three weeks ago. They’re saying they would use that payment to pay suppliers for a variety of items, such as meal and fuel bills and, in some cases, the banks.

 “Now, they’re saying they’ve been told their land is to be inspected and they’ll have to just wait. Farmers are saying they should have been forewarned that payment would be delayed because at least they would have had time to make alternative arrangements to pay off suppliers and keep them happy, and in other cases, negotiate with the bank.

 “What we’re seeing is serious pressure being placed on the finances of some farmers, and their cash flow. In some cases there is already enough pressure, so they don’t need this.

“I will be raising the matter with our Agriculture spokesperson, Joe Byrne MLA, who is vice-chairperson of the Assembly Agriculture Committee, to ensure the concerns of farmers are heard at the Assembly. “

Senseless Attack on Boston

16 04 2013


On behalf of the Moyle SDLP, Councillor Dónal Cunningham condemned the Boston bomb attacks that has resulted in 3 deaths and more than 100 people injured.

“We are deeply saddened to hear of the shocking events in Boston. Boston is a city with a very proud Irish heritage and Irish people are shocked and appalled by these heartless attacks”

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Boston, the families of the innocent people who lost their lives and all those injured in this senseless and terrible attack. We fully condemn this violent act”

Farmers who lost livestock urged to protect their LFACA claims

12 04 2013




dead sheep


Moyle SDLP Councillors Dónal Cunningham and Catherine McCambridge have urged local farmers who have lost livestock as a result of the recent snow to protect their 2014 Less Favoured Area Compensatory Allowances claims by informing the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development of the details of their losses.

Councillor Cunningham said

“Farmers who have lost stock need to contact the Department of Agriculture before the 15th May to protect their LFACA claim.

According to DARD special forms will be available from the 17thApril from their offices or from their website, we would urge all farmers who experienced livestock loss to use the form to report the exceptional circumstance and not risk their claim being based on the number of animals that have survived as opposed to their original flocks.

“As these claims are made on the 2013 Single Application Form and require the farmer to have appropriate stocking density between 1st April and 31st October 2013, many farmers will no longer meet the required stocking density due to the exceptional circumstances of their loss through the severe snow”.

“We will be more than happy to assist any farmers with the completion of these forms”


ESA Bill needs to support “Shared Education”

12 04 2013

ballycastle schools

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham called for the inclusion of support for shared education in the ESA Bill which is to be introduced by the Assembly.

 The Councillor continued: “This Bill which will fundamentally change the education system needs to provide the framework for a system of education that offers young people the best chance of fulfilling their potential.

 “In Ballycastle we can see the positive effects of how well the two all ability post primary schools, Cross and Passion College and Ballycastle High School co-operate  and can offer a wider range of subject choice, facilities and expertise while at the same time are able to retain and celebrate their own community identity and ethos.

 “Indeed  Ballycastle is leading the way in terms of working together to develop new means of providing educational pathways for children and young people, it is in the fostering of these types of links that schools should be encouraged and supported by the Department for Education and in particular the ESA Bill.”