Political Unionism Failed on Monday Night

Political Unionism failing young people.

Political Unionism failing young people.

Political Unionism continues to fail the young people who made up the majority of the small protest at Sheskburn House in Ballycastle. It is unfortunate and deeply regrettable that there are those who use opportunities like a protest to hide their own inadequacies behind. The story of Monday night in Ballycastle was not what took place outside Sheskburn House but the tragedy that unfolded in the chamber. Substantial funding for a £400,000 redevelopment project in Bushmills had been lost and no Unionist representative could give answers or alternatives to overcome the situation. The fact was no one representing the good people of Bushmills had bothered to read the appendix of a report to prepare for debate on the night of the protest.

It’s a damning indictment on Unionists that a row about a flag took precedence on a major project that could have provided redevelopment of dereliction, jobs and a smarter looking village. I want to take the opportunity to share my thoughts;

 

In the interests of community relations and upon quite animated requests, I went out to speak to people who are after all my constituents.

I was concerned by so many in the small crowd coming to what was billed ‘A peaceful protest’ wearing balaclava’s or with faces covered.

What I saw reminded me of old National Front supremacist marches of the 70’s in England. But like everyone else, these people deserve leadership and it is unfair that those who claim to, fail them time and again.

 

I could see that political Unionism’s dispatch to the protestors offered nothing and it is clear they are starved of sincere leadership. Those who addressed the gathering returned to the chamber in Moyle ten minutes later to cement the death of a £400,000 investment in the village of Bushmills.

 

It is important to say that going out to the steps to tell young people from Working Class backgrounds to essentially, ‘Keep Waving the Flag’, but then return to the chamber to remove and asset strip the Life Chances of those self-same people is perfidious to say the least.

 

When the TUV representative spoke in the Chamber after the protest, she admitted she had failed to read the appendix of one of the most important documents presented to the Council in her time serving her constituents. It was clear she was not alone.

 

While its fair to say the Library project has turned into farce, I will continue to work on what is best for the site and the community in the village of Bushmills. Opportunities will present themselves again and funding streams will always make themselves available. With proper representation and a realistic business model, an alternative for the community will be available in the future.

 

On the flags issue, I do recognize that Moyle’s Policy on flags has served the entire community well including those who covered their faces. It shall stay in place despite any sideshows to the detriment of community relations.

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Keep Calm! Keep Left!

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Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane has called on the people of Moyle to ignore any protests that might take place at the Council Offices on Monday night.

Speaking as Social Network sites continue to promote a Loyalist protest in the picturesque sea-side town Padraig said;

“The only thing that should be at the forefront of Peoples’ minds is the protection of the fantastic community relations we enjoy in Moyle. People have a right to protest in a dignified and peaceful manner and at all times those rights must be protected – no matter how unpalatable the subject.

“Important issues will be discussed tomorrow evening and it is to these we must turn our attention. Leisure and Tourism, Health and Housing alongside the monthly reports dealing with the opportunities on the Reform of Local Government must remain our primary focus while protests can be relegated to footnotes on a busy Monday evening.

“I can assure the people of Moyle that we will not be flying any flags from public buildings given the wishes of the majority of people in the District. Those intent on protesting make up only a extremely tiny minority of people in Moyle.”

 

 

Tourism/Leisure Complex in Ballycastle Equates to 1% on Rate.

A new Tourism-Leisure facility in Moyle would increase rates by as little as one percent under a new super-council arrangement set to be in place by 2014. But a Councillor Claims rates are set to fall further for the residents of the District as they become part of a new local government structure.

 

 

Following months of work Independent Councillor Padraig McShane is to present a case for the development of a Tourism-Leisure facility on the Quay Road, Ballycastle.

 

 

The Councillor is set to propose that Moyle prepare a robust case for the development to be put forward to the transition committee for consideration. The transition committee is made up of Councillors from Ballymoney, Coleraine, Limavady and Moyle areas that are set to make up the Causeway Coast and Glens Super-council.

 

 

It is believed that talks are already underway as other Councils recognise and have identified the need in Moyle.

Councillor Mc Shane himself a member of the committee said;

 

 

“The making of a case for this facility was never going to be easy. The history of Moyle has been one of excessive rates bills and very poor services. To develop a facility of that nature today would increase the rate by fifteen percent in Moyle. To develop it through the new super-council structures will increase the rate by only one percent.

 

“That fact belies the truth in real terms. Moyle ratepayers will see a substantial drop in their rates as an equilibrium is created throughout the Super Council area.”

 

 

The Councillor has visited several Leisure facilities and several Council areas to find out what ‘Best Practise’ models are being used to provide swimming and leisure facilities.

Councillor Mc Shane continued;

 

 

“What others take for granted, the people of Moyle are asked to do without. Our job as Councillors is not to make money but to offer services for residents. Moyle must position itself to address a historical legacy that has seen the needs of the local community, the business sector and indeed the tourism sector be ignored because of its geographical isolation and low population base.

 

“The needs analysis has already been completed alongside a  robust business case performed by one of Europes leading Leisure consultancies. It evidences the requirement for this facility in Moyle. The multi-million pound investment is a must for the sustainability of the North East corner of the new Super-council.

Meeting with the Head's of Leisure at Greenvale, Magherafelt's recently refurbished Leisure facility.

Meeting with the Head’s of Leisure at Greenvale, Magherafelt’s recently refurbished Leisure facility.

Councillor and UDA Organising Protest?

Loyalists to Protest Moyle District Council

Loyalists to Protest Moyle District Council

Jamie Mc Cooke, the architect of the Moyle District Council protest on Monday night seems to be a nice chap.

Likes on his facebook include

Friends include two stand-up Gentleman (comedians) in the capricious Willie Fraizer and the ridiculous Jim Allister.

Jamie Mc Cooke who attended Ballycastle High School (Let that comment be no reflection on the school or anyone who works, teaches or attends the fine institution) and resides in the village of Liscolman sheds some fine words of wisdom on his ambitions for Monday night;

“THERE SHOULD BE A PROTEST AT MOYLE COUNCIL OFFICES THERE MEETING THIS MONDAY LIKE IF YOU AGREE”

Jamie’s call to date has 18 likes. Its not earth shattering stuff really. He goes on to say;

“i think we should go for it. it would be a bad job if we couldnt get a least 100 loyalist outa the likes of dervock bushmills mosside armoy stranocum”.

Apart from not knowing if the ‘caps lock’ is on or off while typing Jamie imparts some more wisdom on the current situation;

“we cant parade and now we cant fly the flag on city hall some shared future bring down the good friday agreement to fuck this country now an ira run state”.

But it turns out Jamie is only the front for the protest. Loyalist Paramilitaries are calling people onto the streets all over the North. The local UDA bomber named after the central belts of the Americas’ has informed his raggle-tag of vagrants to attend following the supposititious input from the Red Baron Councillor. If this is the case, and my source is excellent (from the horse’s mouth so to speak) it highlights a sitting Councillor in Moyle attempting to stir up sectarian tensions again. He shall fail as he did last year in Bushmills. Ballycastle is one community, rather than two living side by side.

nb,  No inference should be drawn from this post that may discredit or degrade Jamie Mc Cooke. His actions to date only indicate an attempt at peaceful protest. Neither should any relationship be drawn with anyone else or any other organisation in this post. Anything in quotation is Jamie’s own words on the Social Media site, Facebook.

Unionists Councillors Cannot Shirk Responsibility in Ballycastle

Loyalists to Protest Moyle District Council

Loyalists to Protest Moyle District Council

An Independent Councillor has sent emails to his Unionist Counter-parts in Moyle highlighting the part they must play in defusing tensions before a planned Loyalist protest in Ballycastle.

Following reports on Facebook, confirmed by the Belfast Newsletter, that the protest is to take place on Monday night Councillor Padraig McShane stated;
“Concern is all to apparent when I was in the centre of town today. Anyone I was talking to expressed various levels of disgust, anger and bemusement.
“Unionism can not shirk its responsibility to the people of Ballycastle. It has an opportunity to maintain and enhance relations in the town if it chooses to! It should not be found wanting.”
Meanwhile the Councillor stressed that should the protest go ahead, it would not damage Relations in the town of Ballycastle as differences can be discussed sensibly and the level of immaturity required to stir up tensions would find no home in Ballycastle.
The following is a copy of an email circulated to all Unionist Councillors in Moyle.
7 December 2012
 
Dear Colleagues
 
As you are probably aware, a Loyalist protest is planned for the Council Offices on Monday night.
 
Given that we have enjoyed a no flags policy since the inception of Moyle DC in 1972 and we enjoy excellent community relations throughout the District, not least in the chamber I believe it would be appropriate for you guys to use your influence and call on those intent on protesting to call it off immediately.
 
The upshot of these protests has invariably led to violence in Belfast, Ballymena, Carrick and Bangor. Do we wish to see similar in Ballycastle?
 
The opportunity to show genuine leadership has presented itself and I call on each of you to respond without ambiguity, fear or favour.
 
I urge you not to be found wanting.
 
Yours faithfully,
Cllr. Padraig Mc Shane

Loyalists Threaten Moyle D.C.

An Independent Republican Councillor in Moyle has warned a Loyalist Mob to stay away from a meeting of Moyle District Council on Monday night after the discovery of a Facebook campaign to target the Local Government Authority.

The social network page calls ‘All Loyalists to a peaceful protest at Moyle Council Offices’ and asks them to be there at 6.30pm sharp. It follows similar Facebook campaigns that have witnessed peaceful protests turn violent in Belfast, Carrickfergus Ballymena and Bangor.

It also states; “Please attend to show your support as you know Ballycastle is a Republican town”, and finishes, “Please bring plenty of union jacks”.

Councillor Padraig Mc Shane stated;

“Moyle has had a ‘No flags’ policy since 1972. The need to wrap ourselves in the flag in a Nationalist Council has failed to manifest itself in the past and it does not lend itself to the insecurities we are witnessing ravishing Loyalist communities at the minute. 

“Proud unrepentant Republicans in Moyle are secure in their identities and are leaders in the field of genuine community relations. I would counsel Loyalists to consider for once the impact of their actions.

Councillor Mc Shane finished by stating;

“The fact that Moyle has no Alliance Councillors and fly’s no flags leads local observers to conclude  the protests are of a sectarian nature.

 

“I realise the potential for trouble and while the mob is leaderless I would call on those who control them within Unionism to call a halt to the violent protests immediately.”

Gaza Journalist pledges his future to Glensmen :)

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Gaza Journalist and friend of Moyle, Yousef Al-Helou wears the saffron and white in Jordan’s Wadi Rum Camp Desert. Yousef was presented with the Jersey following a speaking engagement by Fra Hughes on behalf of Antrim to Gaza. He hopes to return for a third time after falling in love with Glenarriff Waterfalls and stories of fairies.  His ambition is to free Palestine & Ireland before he plays for the Saffron County.

Rathmoyle and the Search for the Truth

Rathmoyle Ballycastle

Rathmoyle Ballycastle

Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane called a meeting with staff, careers and clients of Rathmoyle Day Centre last week to have an in depth look at exactly what information was being passed to the individual groups concerning the futre of same.
Councillor Mc Shane said;
“We looked at several themes and several strands of care from the Rathmoyle Day Centre, Sheskburn Day Centre, The Base and also the Rathmoyle Residential Home.
“What has become clear is that talks have taken place between the Trust and others, strategically placed, who the Trust seem to be using to sell a flawed care package. At no time has those in Rathmoyle been afforded the same level of information as that being passed to politicians. In short, the Trust are behaving despicably once again to those they are paid to protect.
“We have set up a group tasked with trying to ascertain exactly what the Trust’s plans are going forward. The Clients at Rathmoyle have made it clear they have no ambition to be broken up or have their services downgraded. The information from the Northern Health & Social Care Trust can best be described as ‘smoke and mirrors’.

Proposed Social Housing for Ramoan Road, Ballycastle

landlord_imageTriangle Housing Association plans to build seven houses for people in general Housing need on Ramoan Road, Ballycastle. (Green next Police Station)

The Housing Executive supports the development and planning permission has been granted.

Cautiously welcoming the news Councillor Padraig Mc Shane stated;

“The news is welcome but it has been alluded to several times in the past. Unfortunatly it is not time bound so we are unaware of when it will proceed.

“The housing stress in Moyle is severe and seven units, while a welcome bonus simply do not go far enough to address problems in Ballycastle never mind the Glens. I spoke with the Housing Executive recently and made it clear that the delivery of decent, affordable, sustainable housing is a key priority for the community in Moyle.