Pandering to Sectarianism Costs Moyle Thousands.

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A proposal to withdraw funding of £33,000 from a soccer pitch in Bushmills caused uproar in Moyle District Council. The Council had planned to invest the money on pitch improvements to allow Bushmills the chance for promotion in the soccer leagues.
 
But following a request for additional funds to facilitate a bonfire Independent Councillor Padraig McShane requested,  
 
“The money is withdrawn until such times as the Council could satisfy itself there would be no more criminal damage at the football facility in Dundarave”.
 
Councillor Padraig McShane made the proposal after recommendations for additional money came to Council following a meeting with the Bushmills  Bonfire Review Committee. The recommendations included an option to move the pitch at an additional cost of £27,500.Image
 
After receiving confirmation that damage had been caused to the facility in the past and the clean-up had cost the rate payer considerable money year on year, Councillor McShane said he could not allow rate payers money to be spent on facilities that are continually being destroyed.  
 
Councillor McShane said;
 
“The bonfire review committee and local Councillors had to come to their senses. A normal society could never justify spending public funds in the full knowledge that it would go up in smoke.Image
 

He continued;

 
“Political representatives locally are unwittingly developing communities which aspire to nothing beyond the momentary consolations of material contentment. Apologies are made for naked sectarianism and the destruction of public property in the pursuit of a fictional culture.
 
“Common sense offers us the chance to reject this type of practise despite everything in local politics urging us to tolerate this behaviour. It took twenty minutes and sustained reasoning to convince colleagues of the merits of withdrawing this funding in Council.
 
“The sheer abnormality of spending ratepayers’ money on facilities we know are going to be burnt on the 11th night can only be comparable with funding the purchase of white crosses, a can of petrol and a box of matches for the Klu Klux Klan.”

taitneamh a bhaint as naomh Pádraig

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Here come the Rebels

If it’s traditional and Irish you want on St. Patrick’s weekend, then here’s two events not to be missed.

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PITAK

Moyle District Council in association with Causeway Coast Arts is proud to present local band Fonn the traditional/folk outfit will be accompanied in an amazing double bill by PITAK from Guadeloupe at the Marine Hotel this Friday March 14th @7:30pm. Tickets £6/£5 (conc).

Fonn husband and wife team Catherine and Michael Snads.

Fonn husband and wife team Catherine and Michael Snads.

Fonn comprise Aoda Jeffries joining the husband and wife team of Catherine and Michael Sands. Last year they played with Afresh, an Afro-beat, reggae, Jazz outfit while this year they deliver alongside PITAK who are playing Creole Soul music from Guadeloupe. mailto:http://www.feileafrica.com/pitak.html

It’s one of two events not to be missed this St. Patrick’s weekend. The other of course is the visit of the ‘Rebels’ to Ballycastle. It’s fair to say Antrim are struggling a little in this year’s league but it ain’t often we get Cork Hurlers up to the North Coast. Throw-in 2pm at Páirc MacUílín

Tourism/Leisure Facility Update

Artists Impression of Leisure Facility in Ballycastle

Artists Impression of Leisure Facility in Ballycastle

“A Tourism and Leisure facility in Ballycastle is now inevitable and construction should begin in the 2016/17 financial year”.

The prediction comes from Independent Councillor Padraig McShane who recently secured £350,000 to help develop 3g artificial grass pitches in Ballycastle and Cushendall.
Following a favorable report by consultancy firm, Strategic Leisure, which indicated a solid business plan coupled with a case of need Councillor McShane in 2012 proposed;
 
“That Council prepares a robust case for the development of the Tourism, Leisure Facility for the Moyle Area to be put forward to the Transition Committee for consideration”.
 
The Councillor who continues to spearhead a campaign to develop the centre said;
“The decision by Moyle to support my request to update the feasibility study this year is an important step. Design and planning will follow in the 2015/16 financial year with building commencing the year after.

3G surfaces earmarked for Cushendall & Ballycastle

3G surfaces earmarked for Cushendall & Ballycastle

“Concerns have been raised about cost which has been used to block the project in the past. The obstacle has been overcome and we can build and maintain the Tourism/Leisure centre for an additional 1% on the rates of the new super council. Given that our rates in Moyle could drop by as much as 15%, we could not only have this facility but a substantially reduced rates bill.
“We must remember this type of facility is taken for granted in every other Council area in the North”.
When asked how he could ensure any future Super Council would proceed with the development Councillor Padraig McShane said;
“The case of need alongside the feasibility study has already been established. It is now a statutory requirement for the super council. The only real reason why it could refuse to develop a centre is on the grounds of affordability. Our work over the last number of years has proved  the centre is affordable. Should a future super council refuse to develop it they will inevitably find themselves answerable to a judicial review. The Tourism/Leisure facility will therefore be developed”.
Speaking on his work being debated in Stormont Councillor McShane added;
“Failure is an orphan while success will  have many fathers. The heavy lifting on this project has been completed by Moyle District Council over the last number of years. Given the project is on a successful trajectory, others will undoubtedly wish to attach themselves to that success. I welcome it eventually reached Stormont but surrounding that debate is a few unpalatable facts.
“The project is seven years old yet only when success is presenting itself do MLA’s bring it to the floor. It seems no local MLA was aware of the facts of the Strategic Leisure research in addition to the tourism section of the proposals.  Undoubtedly the most confusing aspect of the question about Leisure provision in Moyle was that it was asked of the DOE Minister. One would have thought it would have been more appropriate to ask the Minister responsible for Leisure.”

Pairc MacUilin Prepares for Antrim v’s Wexford

CRLYpan This Sunday will see the return of Senior Inter-county hurling to the Glens when Ballycastle GAC will host Antrim and Wexford in the Allianz National Hurling League. Pairc MacUilin was selected to host two homes games in the league after the county ground, Casement Park in Belfast, closed for a substantial redevelopment programme.
The facility in Ballycastle was recently voted the best club grounds in Ulster by the Provincial Board.
“We look forward to welcoming Wexford to Ballycastle. It’s a great occasion for local Gaels in North Antrim to play host to some of the illustrious names in the hurling world. The ‘yellow bellies’ of Wexford will provide keen opposition on Sunday before the ‘Rebels’ of Cork arrive next month.
“While the Club have prepared well to play host, the Council have sought to play their part also. I received excellent input from Kerrie, our tourist officer, when I asked her to promote the game. Not only is it on the Council website but the Causeway Coast & Glens Tourism Partnership, NITB and Bord Failte Ireland have advertised and marketed the events prominently. It is hoped the local economy will receive a bounce from the games”.
 “Hurling has seen a dramatic improvement in Antrim over the last few years. Shamrocks in Loughgiel have set the standard in recent competitions and Antrim’s under 21’s beat Sunday’s opposition to progress to the Inter-county All-Ireland at that level last season. Where once it would have been unthinkable for Antrim to beat Wexford, Sunday could serve up a cracker with the outcome unpredictable.”
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CIVIL RIGHTS/BLOODY SUNDAY 1972-2014

5U8A3646Following his visit to Derry at the weekend Councillor Padraig McShane highlighted the similarities in The Bloody Sunday march and the march for civil rights some 42 years earlier.

Free Derry Corner with Stafford Scott of the Justice for Mark Duggan Campaign.

Free Derry Corner with Stafford Scott of the Justice for Mark Duggan Campaign.

“It will be lost on no one that many marching today were still protesting at the distri

bution and allocation of housing. Rights surrounding the access to fair and gainful employment for all and the highlighting of the devastation wrecked on healthcare provision.

“It is ironic that a march for Civil rights led to the collapse of Stormont in 1972. Today a larger crowd than had been seen for many years are demanding many of those same rights from a regime that, because of its makeup and its limited powers, is set in paralysis.
“Those locally who believe the regime is delivering must ask themselves firstly, why Rathmoyle is closing? Why is the hospital,both here in Ballycastle and in Coleraine being downgraded? Why upwards of five thousand hours had been removed from Ambulance provision in East Antrim and the Glens. Where the £44million removed from Healthcare budgets went in the Northern Trust. Or why jobs and opportunities are becoming much more centralised and those in rural locations like Moyle are being 5U8A3307marginalised”.
The Councillor finished by noting the difficulties for many in admitting;
“While it will be difficult for many of us to accept, an honest appraisal brings an uncomfortable conclusion. The Stormont Executive is impacting negatively on the quality of life and the life chances of the vast majority of people across the six counties”.

Glens Retained In New Domain Name. Legal Threats Thwart Partisan Ambitions!

glens-of-antrimThe Glens will be retained in the domain name of the super council. The new model, stretching from Greysteel near Derry City to Waterfoot in the Glens of Antrim, being brought in under the Review of Public Administration will merge Moyle Limavady, Coleraine and Ballymoney councils.

Independent Councillor Padraig McShane welcomed the move saying it was essential for the development and security of the Causeway Coast and Glens brand. In addition it will make sure the business sector is not disenfranchised in the Glens area.

“I welcome the fact that both the DUP & UUP in Ballymoney and Coleraine have been brought to their senses. The first proposal was both sectarian and partisan. No reasonable argument could be presented to sustain the proposal to drop the Glens”.

Councillor McShane had promised to take the matter to the courts with a judicial review being proposed should the transition committee have decided to drop the Glens from the domain name.

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Coleraine Councillor George Duddy who was keen to remove the Glens from the domain name of the new Super Council

“It’s ironic that it was Coleraine DUP Councillor George Duddy who proposed the domain name to include the Glens in the title. He had been one of the most vocal proponents of dropping the Glens.

“Those set out to intentionally disenfranchise anyone on the basis of their culture or religion have learned a valuable lesson I feel. A judicial review will go with attempts to do either both now and in the future.

“The domain name should never have been an issue. I would hope the unfortunate episode can now be set to the side and the committee can perform on the basis of equality and need”.

‘Glens’ Domain Name Legal Challenge!

Independent Councillor Padraig McShane (pic) said that a proposal being considered by the Causeway Coast & Glens transition committee to remove the ‘Glens’ from the domain name was the beginning of a process aimed at stripping the political, cultural and economic identity of the people of Ballycastle and the Glens.

Independent Councillor Padraig McShane (pic) said that a proposal being considered by the Causeway Coast & Glens transition committee to remove the ‘Glens’ from the domain name was the beginning of a process aimed at stripping the political, cultural and economic identity of the people of Ballycastle and the Glens.

The transitional committee of the Causeway Coast & Glens super council will face a legal challenge if they vote to drop the ‘Glens’ from the Council’s domain name.  The warning came from Moyle Independent Councillor Padraig McShane, who went on to describe the proposed move as; “the beginning of a process that would lead to the introduction of ‘political and cultural apartheid’ in Ballycastle and the Glens”.

 
Councillor McShane has spent a number of months working with individuals from the tourism sector in the area. He advised them to take a ‘judicial review’ of any adverse decision emanating from the transition committee.
 
The Councillor stated;
 
“It is clear that Unionists in both Coleraine and Ballymoney are keen to rid themselves of the Glens badge in any future Council. But the reason to do so does not contain one logically compelling, deeply informed, or conceptually arresting argument”. 
 
Solicitor Michael Brentnall from Robert Murtagh & Co, representing an client from the Glens stated;
 
“If as Councillor McShane has indicated, the Causeway Coast and Glens transition committee intends to proceed with the omission of the “Glens” from the domain name of the new council, then the consequences will be clearly detrimental to our client. In this instance our client will have no option but to challenge such a decision through the courts.”
 
Councillor Padraig McShane continued;glens-of-antrim
 
“For a short time I entertained the misguided hope that political Unionism, both in Coleraine and Ballymoney, might rise above what has distinguished Unionist politics on this island. But it is clear from the latest move that, ‘The Green Glens of Antrim’, from Glentaise in Ballycastle to Glenariff in Waterfoot, are a shade too green for some Unionists.
 
“Ballycastle and the Glens are steeped in Gaelic tradition and culture. The fusion of language, music and sports will make up an integral and desirable part of any new political considerations for local government. Councillors in Ballymoney and Coleraine must begin to embrace the area and look upon it as the asset it is.
 
“And decision made by the members of the transition committee must be morally sound. If the wish is to disenfranchise an entire area because of its political or religious makeup, then I can confirm that legal repercussions will accompany any and all those decisions both now and in the future.
 
 
 Councillor McShane finished by suggesting;
 
“The old order and the undiluted power that was accorded to it is being erased from the pages of time. Those Councillors who incubate a desire to return to the ‘failed political model’ of the past should avail of the opportunity to retire.

Cushendall Beach. Commitment Secured Following Onsite Meeting

The Beach in Cushendall will be reinstated in a matter of weeks and contractors will be on sight tomorrow morning to assess the damage and prepare a programme of works.
In 2011 Moyle District Council invested £160,000 on environmental improvements in the Glens. The main project in the scheme was the improvements at Cushendall Beach including new paths, lighting, picnic areas and environmental enhancements.
The Councillor who proposed the scheme in 2010, Independent Padraig Mc Shane, said he was devastated by the damage to the Beachfront in Cushendall.
The Councillor said;
“After consultation in 2010 with the community in the Glens we identified several projects of work, chief among them the beach at Cushendall. I was fit to identify funding from the Rural Development Programme in conjunction with securing a commitment from my colleagues in Moyle Council to invest in the scheme.
“I spent quite some time in the Glens on Friday and to see the damage to the beach was disappointing. I have addressed the need to have the significant damage assessed and repaired as quickly as possible. In addition I have already hosted a meeting with some of the senior management team and other colleagues in Moyle District Council on site to plan a coordinated response to the devastation.
The Councillor continued;
“The Glens has suffered severely at the hands of mother nature over the last twelve months. Glenariff Forest Park suffered considerable damage in March of last year and is only beginning to receive a definitive response from the Forestry Department. The repairs to the beach at Cushendall will require a more expeditious response from Moyle District Council.”

‘Fabricated Concerns’ Help Executive Councillors in Moyle Deliver Health Care Cuts

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SOME OF THE MANY HEALTHCARE SERVICES LOST UNDER STORMONT / TORY CUTS
An Independent Councillor has described the relationship between the Stormont Executive and those local Councillors who are party to that same Executive as, “The most pathetic of all political nostalgia’s”. He also warned ‘Executive’ Party Councillors not to treat the local community as fools.
“Councillors locally are shedding crocodile tears while their party colleagues in the Stormont Executive are delivering ‘death by a thousand cuts’ to our local health care provision”, Stated Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane.
The Councillor was reacting to the closure of six beds at Dalriada Hospital in Ballycastle.
Explaining Councillor McShane continued;
“The Stormont Executive delivered cuts to the Health Care budget in the Northern Trust area totalling forty-four million between 2009-11. At the time the Ulster Unionist Health Minister Michael Mc Gimpsey ordered savings to be made which included the downgrading of the M.S. Center in Dalriada.
“Two years later, and in what many will see as a certain deficiency of tragic sense, two local Ulster Unionist Councillors attempt to attack the cuts their Minister and party colleague implemented with the support of the entire Executive – by blaming others!
Councillor McShane continued;
“The proclamations of both Councillors Baird and Hunter would mercifully indicate that in fact, they hadn’t a clue what was happening. Their claims that it had come “Out of the blue” in addition to “As far as we know there has been no consultation”, was the strongest indications of that fact.
“The Councillors performance in the press last week was only ever a hymn of political triumphalism. Should they however, wish to ‘breech a moment of moral clarity’, they could join with me in calling for a more left leaning, service delivering political system that would ensure the vibrancy of our health care system going into the future”.
So Who Is Making The Cuts & Why! 
Councillor McShane said it was too simple to suggest the Stormont Administration were administering cuts on behalf of the Tory Administration.
“The British Exchequer bailed out the private banking system by almost four hundred billion in ‘quantitative easing’. To offset the huge losses encountered by the private sector, the social sector had to endure the most significant cuts since the foundation of the Social Welfare State.
“In essence Stormont is facilitating that process and we in Moyle are seeing the repercussions first hand. Rathmoyle Residential Care and Day Care, X-Ray facilities in Dalriada, Glenmona in Cushendun, Ambulance Provision in the Glens, Mental Health Care downgraded in Dalriada and the constant threat of the closure of the Hospital entirely are only some of the effects of the most ‘disadvantaged’ and ‘at risk’ being asked to bail out the private banking institutions by Stormont and the Tory Administration”.

 

Cushendall Road Safety Measures Planned – But When?

Roads Service has wrote to Moyle District Council to inform that there is a scheme proposal being developed to provide a Vehicle Restraint System (crash barriers) opposite number 147 Cushendall Road. The confirmation follows a campaign by Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane to have safety measures put in place at the accident black spot.

But the Councillor remains unhappy and has requested the Council now write to the DRD Minister to implement the programme as he claims the project is not time bound and may not be in place for a number of years.

Councillor Mc Shane said;

“The scheme is not included in the current works programme and may not be for years to come given the decimation of the Minor Works budget that funds the safety measures proposed.

“The site has witnessed numerous accidents going back a number of years with an intense proliferation in the last number of weeks. Five cars have been involved in serious accidents there in the last month”.

The Divisional Roads Manager, Deidre Mackle in a letter to Moyle Council stated;

“Progress of this scheme through to prioritisation within a future years works programme will be subject to funding availability along with a number of other key issues including the successful acquisition of any land required”.

Councillor Mc Shane finished by stating;

“Stormont has hammered the budgets for the Northern Division of Roads Service. The minor works budget has decreased to less than half a million pounds for an area that stretches from Derry to Belfast. The budget was many times that amount in the past. Ultimate responsibility with the required safety measures now rest with the Minister”.