The Rural Transport Fund is pleased to announce the release of application packs for their Voucher Scheme in your area. These will cater for trips being made during the months of April, May and June 2013. The scheme allows groups to apply for a £100 voucher for one trip which they can use to subsidise part of their transport costs. These trips will be provided by an approved list of transport operators which will be enclosed within the application pack. 


Applications are open to groups in all rural areas.

Groups are eligible to apply to the scheme if;

  • They are formally constituted
  • They are non-profit making.
  • They are based in a rural area, or the majority / total membership of the group are rural dwellers
  • They have 17 or more people travelling

Further details on eligibility can be found in the RTF Voucher Scheme’s Terms and Conditions for Applicants, which is issued in the Application Pack.

If successful the scheme will provide £100 towards the cost of your transport.

To request an application pack please contact Melanie Parker or Geraldine Finnegan:

Address:       DRD Rural Transport Fund, Room 3-29 Clarence   Court, 10-18 Adelaide Street, Belfast, BT2 8GB

Telephone: 02890 540620

Fax:                02890 540662

Email:   or



28th February 2013




Moyle; A first to deliver Sport & Recreation – Rates Free.

Councillors must commit themselves to delivering parity of esteem for all in  Moyle and remain aloof from the side deals that ensured some were more equal than others in Stormont. A motion tonight at Moyle could see Councillors become the first authority to deliver sport and recreation Clubs a rates free future.
The following was tabled last week and has been left to give Councillors a chance to comprehend the proposal;
A proposal presented to Moyle Council in the Glens of Antrim could see the District hand back‘Rate Monies’ to GAA Clubs in the area – essentially awarding them rates exemption status via the back door. The move would circumvent rules forcing GAA Clubs to continue paying property rates while Orange Halls remain exempt.
In a controversial move in 2005, then British Prime Minister Tony Blair wrote to the Grand Lodge of Ireland and the Independent Imperial Grand Lodge confirming their properties would be exempt from Rates. It was widely believed at the time that Prime Minister Blair used the issue of Rates on Orange Halls as an incentive to attract the DUP to talks in Leeds  Castle .
This proposal from Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane has the potential to set a precedent that would allow local authorities throughout the North to payback rates to GAA Clubs in any District.home001
Councillor Mc Shane said;
“I wish to present a logically compelling argument as to why the GAA should be exempt over and above the reasons why others enjoy exemption status. I simply feel it is unfair to require the GAA, a voluntary organisation, to pay Rates while they provide a much needed service to local communities. If anything, the GAA remove a massive burden from ratepayers by generating their own income and providing their own facilities.
Councillor Mc Shane’s proposal would see GAA Clubs in Moyle awarded amounts to the value they are charged in Rates to help maintain facilities for the benefit of the Communities they represent.
At Monday night’s meeting of Moyle District Council members gave the proposal a positive hearing before requesting additional time to consider. It will be revisited next week.
Councillor Mc Shane continued;
“A conceptually arresting and deeply informed case must be made to make all GAA Clubs and similar sporting organisations exempt from rates. This current proposal may help to unlock the intransigence in some political quarters for now but the ultimate aim must be to place the GAA in the exempt from Rates category.”
 Rookie Rugby 002
This Councillor has championed the GAA in the past. In 2008 he proposed a unique fund for infrastructure projects that has seen over one hundred thousand pounds go to help the development of the six GAA Clubs in Moyle.

Good Relations – Film Night


The Council’s promotion of good relations continues unabated throughout Moyle, the District that enjoys the best relations of the 26 Council areas. With a busy calendar ahead and a promising programme to roll out to the community leadership I thought I would take time out to promote this little lot………..

“Tapestry of Colours”

The screening of the acclaimed cultural diversity film will be shown in the Bushmills Inn on Tuesday 26th February. This will be the first screening of the feature length in the Moyle area, after which attendees will have an opportunity to have their say during a Q&A session with the film’s director Zhenia Mahdi-Nau.

Exploring cultural diversity in the North, this acclaimed film is set against a colourful background of unusual festivals and music Personal and moving interviews with individuals from many diverse backgrounds. The film to date has enjoyed strong opinions.Colouring_pencils

Because spaces are limited, booking is essential. Allocated on a first come first serve basis! Should any groups wish to host a viewing support will be available from the Moyle Good Relations Grant Aid Programme.

To book your place please telephone the Development Dept. at Moyle District Council on (028)20762225 or email

Requests to be received no later than Monday 18th February.

Careful what we wish for in a ‘Paradox of Plenty’


Sullom Voe Oil Terminal Shetlands

Following the announcement that over half a billion barrels of oil could be retrieved from the Rathlin Basin, Independent councillor Padraig McShane suggested that if it was economically viable, little could be done to stop the resource being exploited.

He said:

“Because of the vast profits associated with oil industries, companies seem to have an ability to ride through planning legislation and environment concerns seem to become a secondary consideration against the pursuit of multinational companies interests.

“That being said the industry does enjoy models of ‘best practice’ around the globe. Our primary concern must centre on the protection of the natural environment. Of soteag6 equal importance is those who live here. An industry on this scale will bring enormous changes to the area but has real potential to bring similar sized benefits.”

The Councillor stated that given the nature of the discovery hydraulic fracturing would not be used to extract the commodity.

“It is too early to ever consider the possibility that a single barrel of oil will ever be extracted in the area but the protection of the natural surroundings must begin now. To that end the Council have already begun to sound out methods of industry practice that ensures environmental protection going forward.”

Should we worry about fracking?

Fracking From Space!



The above image comes from NASA’s Black Marble series of satellite photos, which caused quite a stir when it was released online last month–look at all the beautiful lights, the tiny cities! But as it turns out, one of those clusters of illumination isn’t a city at all; it’s an enormous cluster of fracking outposts, sending hundreds of flares into the sky and creating a span of light the size of greater Boston.

The light in question is in North Dakota, near the Montana border (in case you couldn’t find it, I’ve given you a subtle, understated hint above).

New Scientist explains:

Flaring is a way to burn off excess natural gas during oil production, but the process effectively wastes a natural resource while simultaneously emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. As of 2011, more than 35 per cent of North Dakota’s natural gas production was burnt off in flares, according to a study done by the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

The same study reported that in 2009, on average, less than 1 per cent of the total amount of natural gas produced in the US was lost to flaring. By those standards, the Bakken formation in North Dakota sticks out as a staggeringly flaring-heavy drilling site and the island of light in this picture only helps make that case.

‘Iscariot’ returns Marian to prison

Marian & Dolores PriceMarian & Dolores Price

In a move that evidenced a revengeful spirit, Marian Price has been returned to prison following a visit to bid farewell to her sister Dolores this morning. No compassionate parole to attend her funeral has been granted.

The British Establishment in Ireland still demands it’s ‘pound of flesh’ from those who rocked the ‘Empire’.

Those who assist them, those who play on the emotional vulnerability, those who attacked that vulnerability like an open wound for political purposes in the last three days. It is you who are the Iscariot – kneeling to kiss those whom you betrayed with fine words in the media.

Fine words, Judas deeds.

Speak Their Names With Pride

If Marian Price is not released to attend the funeral of her sister it will mark the lowest point for Republicans in a roller coaster ride since the signing of the Good Friday.
So much hurt inflicted on Republicans from forces both within and outside the Republican family. The punishment is not retribution but rather it contains the prevailing stench of revenge for a lifetime of resistance. The Price family deserve much more than our support – they command our undiluted respect.
Please share with the world!!

Statement from the family of Marian Price McGlinchey.

We have received news that Marian’s application for compassionate parole following the tragic death of her sister Dolours has been refused, despite her being granted bail earlier today.
Given Marian’s current health issues it is laughable that she would pose any kind of security or flight risk. We feel this decision is nothing more than a continuance of a vicious and vindictive campaign on the part of the Prison Service, the Department of Justice and the British secretary of state along with M15 to destroy Marian both physically and mentally.
We would urge all right thinking people to utterly condemn this blatant breach of Marian’s fundamental human rights

Derwyn’s Theory……..According to Brewster!

Derwyn Brewster on what could have beenYou just got to feel for Derwyn Brewster.

 The failed Independent Canditate for the Causeway Ward of Moyle District Council elections in 2011 has tried his best to keep himself relevant in local political affairs. When I say failed, let me spell it out. Even the TUV beat him with only 164 votes. This after the Brew-mister boasted that he would ‘top the poll in the Causeway Ward’. Embarassing?????? I should say so!

Now I know the lad and have met and conversed with him at several community events in the District. He enjoys positions on several groups in the Bushmills area including Bushmills Residents and Environmental Forum and a Director of Bushmills Ulster Scots Heritage. He also helped Playing old soldier at the Covenantset up Bushmills Village Forum and he is the Secretary of Bushmills Children & Young Peoples Services as well as a director  in the Bushmills Trust.(Info 2011)

Forgive my flippant nature with names but when I get to know people I usually like to lend them a nice catchy appellation that brings a genuinely discriptive meaning! I like meeting new people and the ‘Brew-mister’ was no different. A joval character but in my honest, he was not going to be the next President of the local Golf Club if you catch my drift.

His latest thoughts on the flags issue. Now take a seat. This is going to be educationally enlightening and of course you the reader will marvel at the advancing of community relations in the District of Moyle;Illegally blocking roads

“With years of building friendships and relationships shattered in one crazy decision I would call on Moyle District Council to show leadership to try and repair some of the damage by flying the union flag on all public buildings in Moyle”. (Derwyn Brewster, Coleraine Chronicle)

Now, I told you. But what Derwyn knows well is no flags have every flown from public buildings in Moyle. Everyone was secure in their identities and happy in the knowledge that respect for one and other’s identities has served the District well. Maybe my old buddy the Brew-mister struggles with his identity – but which part? Moyle will not fly a flag over any public building giving everyone in the District the opportunity to adopt the identities they choose while feeling part of the District.

The Brew-mister must  be taken with a pinch of salt. The lad is just about smart enough to avoid being confused with Willie Frazer. But he carrys clout in someone’s eyes. In fact, quite

a lot by the looks of things.Brewster takes his place alongside Billy Mc Farland, the UDA Brigadeir, in Dublin to meet the Queen

Some of you may remember the Queen of England spent a few days in Dublin a while back. Down to greet her wandered the Brigediers of the UDA. Each of them were allowed to bring a guest. Our local lad, the Mexican, took a partner/guest. Would you believe me if I told you it was the Brew-mister. I guess its  been for all his community work!

Ballycastle Comhaltas, The Afresh and Fonn combine for Cultural Crossings in Cushendall. Sounds Good!!



Afro-beat, reggae, Jazz or Traditional with a twist is all on offer when locally based ‘Fonn’ and Belfast based ‘Afresh’ take to the stage in Cushendall Golf Club on the 16th February.

Fonn require little introduction to local music fans. They comprise the husband and wife team of Catherine and Michael Sands alongside Aoda Jeffries. They are well known and respected trio in the folk/trad scene.

Fonn husband and wife team Catherine and Michael Snads.

Fonn husband and wife team Catherine and Michael Sands

Afresh is a truly international band of musicians from Zimbabwe, Poland, Slovakia and Ireland. Belfast based they carry with them a new

perspective on international sounds from some exciting musical jandras.

The night of music is Part of the ‘Cultural Crossings’ programme and it will be rolled out in partnership with the Causeway Coast Arts committee.

Local Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane who is a member of the Causeway Coast Arts group has welcomed the programme to Cushendall.

“It is difficult to get acts of this caliber together at the best of times and it is difficult to get them in Moyle. So to bring this to Cushendall is a real treat for music fans in the Glens.


“A big thank you to Ballycastle Comhaltas who continue to promote Irish music in the area and who will also be contributing on the night!

“Those who enjoy adventure in their music will relish in what the night has to offer.”

The music starts at 7.30pm. For further information tel: 0282076 2024

Listen to ‘The Afresh’

The ‘Back of the Bus’ for the GAA in Discrimination Move.

A major shake up of one of the most controversial community funding
pots in Moyle will see GAA Clubs in the District having to ‘cool their heels’
and wait to see if they are to gain any financial support for infrastructure
projects this year. The Community Infrastructure Fund is used by community and
voluntary organisations to promote and enhance facilities that serve the
residents of Moyle.

In a surprise move Councillors proposed that any groups that received monies from the Community
Infrastructure Fund in the past should be considered – only after new
applicants received their awards. The move will see all six GAA Clubs in Moyle
relegated to the back of the queue for awards this year because of previous
successful applications. Other groups also relegated include the Armoy
Motorcycle Road Racing Club, the Corrymeela Community, Greenlight Gateway and
the Glens Youth Club.

The Fund, first proposed in 2008, has proved controversial with Unionists labelling the
programme, ‘The GAA fund’. No group in the Causeway Ward has received financial
support from the programme. Councillor Mc Shane said, “Unfortunately the
Causeway Ward has yet to submit any applications, hence the explanation as to
why no funds have found their way there yet”.

Over one hundred thousand pounds made its way directly into
the six GAA Clubs in the District since Councillor Mc Shane’s proposal.

Councillor Padraig Mc Shane stated;

“I would implore my colleagues in this Council to think
 carefully about what they are proposing. It is simply not feasible to make this
 decision until we explore the quality of applications to be presented to
Council. To discriminate against those who have been successful in the past
 seems illegal and immoral. Projects must be judged on merit.

A vote taken on the proposal witnessed the SDLP and Sinn
Fein unite with Unionists to force the changes through. Councillor Padraig Mc
Shane was joined by his Independent colleague, Randal Mc Donnell in opposing
the changes.

Councillor Mc Shane said he was disappointed by the changes
but defended the track record of the funding in the past saying;

“It had proved the catalyst for some major projects in the
 District. It also gave Council the opportunity to attempt to address the
 historic legacy of little or no government support for the GAA in Moyle.

“In finishing I would encourage all groups, including those
who were successful in the past, to apply should they have a sound proposal.”