Chairman’s Diary 16/02/15

18 02 2015


Chairman’s Diary 02/02/15

8 02 2015


Chairman’s Diary 04/08/14

5 08 2014


Tony Benn naturally radiated ‘charm, warmth and honour’

14 03 2014

Tony Benn

SDLP Foyle MP Mark Durkan has expressed his sadness at the death of Labour stalwart Tony Benn.

Mr Durkan, who recently spoke to the veteran left-wing campaigner during Commons tributes to Nelson Mandela, said:

“Tony Benn was passionate in his politics, compassionate in his outlook and compelling in debate.

“For him politics was a battle of ideas, not a contest of image.

“He was always ready to argue issues on the basis of the interests at play and the rights at stake.

“Articulate in his own ideology, he also appreciated when others argued in terms of clear ideas – even when he disagreed with them.

“Tony Benn was a great parliamentarian, wonderful platform orator, and both personable and impressive in private conversation.

“Whether in the Chamber or in the corridor, on the stump or in the studio, he was a wonderful communicator because he spoke with conviction in terms that really related to people.

“He was a man who just naturally radiated charm, warmth and honour.

“He was no longer an MP when I entered the Commons, but you always noticed the mood and the word that spread among parliamentary staff when he came into the House.  It was clear that they all had lots of reasons to hold him in special regard and it was also clear that they enjoyed mutual esteem from this pillar of parliament and champion of workers.

“The last occasion in which I spoke to Tony Benn was when he came into the House for the tributes to Nelson Mandela.  He had been a stalwart of the Anti-Apartheid Movement with his distinctive indignation at the violation of rights, sense of justice and spirit of democratic struggle.

“He lent that same campaigning character to the quest of the Bloody Sunday families and other victims of unaccountable power.”

No need to rush into National Park designation

11 09 2012

Acknowledging the fact no enabling legislation has been enacted for the designation of National Parks, Moyle SDLP Councillors Dónal Cunningham and Catherine McCambridge have nevertheless urged the DOE not to rush into any designation particularly in relation to the Glens of Antrim and the CausewayCoast.

The Glens of Antrim and CausewayCoast area are already amongst the most protected natural environments. Designations include AONB(Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty), ASSI (Area of Special Scientific Interest), WHS (World Heritage Site), Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) as well as Conservation Towns and Villages, all of which serve  to conserve natural beauty – which by statute includes wildlife, physiographic features and cultural heritage as well as the more conventional concepts of landscape and scenery

Moyle Council has been proactive in improving sustainable tourism and access to the natural environment; at this stage it is not clear what improvements, if any, National Park designation would bring.

Councillors pay tribute to Archie McIntosh

9 09 2012

Moyle SDLP Councillors Catherine McCambridge and Dónal Cunningham have paid tribute to former Moyle Council Chairman Archie McIntosh, who died this morning (Sunday 9th Sept).
Archie had been a staunch supporter of SDLP principles since the party’s inception, deploring violence and believing that partnership between our communities was the only way forward.
‘Archie served as an SDLP councillor from 1997 to 2001 and as Chair of Moyle District Council during that time. He firmly believed in developing cross-party and cross-community partnerships within and beyond the council.
“Archie worked tirelessly to promote Moyle District and especially his own beloved Glenariffe and Glens district.”
“To his wife Mary and family we offer my deepest condolences. He will be much missed but fondly remembered”

The Irish Language must be respected

5 01 2012

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has called on his fellow council members to exercise more sensitivity in their remarks regarding the issue of the Irish language and bi-lingual street signs.
Currently under the terms of the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions (Northern Ireland) Order – Article 11 (1) (a) and (b), Councils may erect a nameplate showing the name of the street in English and any other language. Moyle’s “Street Naming and Numbering policy” requires a survey from which 66% of respondents must be in favour of the bi-lingual signs before any action is taken.
At recent council meetings when the Building Control report is being considered, councillors on all sides have made derogatory comments often relegating the debate to other non related sham sectarian issues.
“The Irish language must be respected and enjoyed in a positive way, acknowledging the strength and value of the diversity in our community”