Chronicles from the Moyle Soviet…..Style over content and forgo the notion, if one exists, that via this blog you the reader may be carried along in some splendidly evocative swirl. Do allow for some verbal pyrotechnics while I promote my claim on the truth about questions of local governance, national and geo-political decision making that can impact on our lives. And a light-hearted sprinkling of places and characters with some pictures to complete.
PICS Shipwrecks Exhibition – Parochial Hall – Celebrity Opening … East Lighthouse Open Day Art Exhibition – “Door To A View”, No. 6 Church Bay Exhibitions open for the rest of the week and something different every day. Town market plus Currach Building was also on today. There is no bad time to visit the Island […]
The Marine corner in Ballycastle between North Street and the Quay Road seen heavy flooding for a number of hours on Saturday. Up to six inches of rain made the road extremely treacherous for the many drivers who were on the Coast Road for the North West 200.
Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane called on Road Service to rectify the issue before the doors of the Marine would reopen in under a month’s time.
“This has been a persistent problem and Road Service have been made aware of the issue in the past. If its a case that drains are blocked then Road Service should be able to address the problem quite easily. If major works are required they must be expeidated in the immediate future.”
Ever wondered what Rathlin looks like from the other side? For those who have yet to see Rathlin’s North Face and puffin clad cliffs from the sea, now’s your chance.
On Friday the 24th a boat trip with a difference is on offer aboard the Rathlin Express. The vessel will depart Ballycastle at 5pm for Rathlin where it will pick up passengers at 5.30pm and circle the island before returning to Ballycastle and the opening parade of this year’s Maritime Festival.
Councillor Padraig Mc Shane has encouraged people to book their places on the unique trip early as spaces are limited.
Michael Sands is pulling together a pretty amazing gig. It’s an opportunity to see two of the world’s great guitarists in Ballycastle. Over to Michael………….Ok folks the Tony McManus/Mickey Murphy gig is ON…but…to make sure everyone is kept right the tickets must be pre sold at £12.50 or £10 if you ring/email/FB me by 31st May. 40 tickets available only. Tis gonna be an amazing night. Can we make it happen? Provisional date Wed 28th August.
Gaza , also referred to as Gaza City, is a Palestinian city in the Gaza Strip, with a population of about 450,000, making it the largest city in the Palestinian territories. Inhabited since at least the 15th century BC, Gaza has been dominated by several different peoples and empires throughout its history. The Philistines made it a part of their pentapolis after the Ancient Egyptians had ruled it for nearly 350 years. Under the Romans and later the Byzantines, Gaza experienced relative peace and its port flourished. In 635 AD, it became the first city in Palestine to be conquered by the Rashidun army and quickly developed into a centre of Islamic law. However, by the time the Crusaders invaded the city in the late 11th century, it was in ruins. In later centuries, Gaza experienced several hardships—from Mongol raids to floods and locusts, reducing it to a village by the 16th century, when it was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire. During the first half of Ottoman rule, the Ridwan dynasty controlled Gaza and under them the city went through an age of great commerce and peace.
Gaza was pillaged by British forces during World War I, becoming a part of the British Mandate of Palestine. As a result of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, Egypt administered the newly formed Gaza Strip territory and several improvements were undertaken in the city. Gaza was captured by Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967, but in 1993, the city was transferred to the Palestinian National Authority. Following the 2006 elections, conflict broke out as the Fatah were unwilling to transfer power to Hamas following a routing at the polling stations resulting in Hamas taking power in Gaza by force. Israel imposed a Blockade of the Gaza Strip after they failed to acknowledge the democratic process. Former U.S. president Jimmy Carter described the elections as the free and fair. The blockade continues.
The primary economic activities of Gaza are small-scale industries, agriculture and labour. However, the economy has been devastated by the blockade. Most of Gaza’s inhabitants are Muslim, although there is a Christian minority. Gaza has a very young population with roughly 75% under the age of 25.
The cliffs of Rathlin provided a spectacular backdrop for the MV Ocean Nova, a small cruise liner that paid a visit to island on Friday. The 2118 tonne Norwegian built vessel has a capacity of 96 passengers and a compliment of 34 crew. Cabins are outside, with fixed windows or portholes and a compact bathroom. They are furnished with a desk, chair and wardrobe.
Ocean Nova was built to navigate around Greenland and is classified to operate in ice-filled waters. Today it got a crack at Rathlin with a small flotilla of Zodiac speedboats depositing passengers on the island for a visit.
A consultation meeting on the future of Translink Town Bus Service in Ballycastle has been organised for Thursday the 16th of May at 7pm in Sheskburn House Council Offices. The meeting organised by Translink themselves looks like an attempt to rubberstamp the removal of the service.
I urge as many people as possible to attend this meeting and support the retention of the Service. Among many of its users are our elderly who in many instances would remain isolated in their homes should this service be withdrawn.
In an ominous warning Translink state;
The continuation of the Town Service will be determined by passenger demand.
Moyle could be in with a chance of hosting the opening stage of the Giro d’Italia a professional cycle race in May 2014. The Italian race has held its Grande Partenza or big start outside Italy since 1996. Next year the North has a chance to host it-so where better than the North Antrim Coast?
The Grande Partenza is the opening stage of the Giro and lasts six days. 140,000 people are expected to attend the event and 10m of free promotional media coverage is on offer.
The host partners RCS Sports have yet to decide on a route for the second day of the event and so I guess Council support is being sought.
I would think with the popularity of cycle racing in general in the area, it will be forthcoming. But it represents a fabulous opportunity to showcase the area while attracting a world class event.
Moyle Independent Councillor Padraig McShane challenged local representatives from the DUP, SDLP, UUP and SF to define their positions on health. He said that local Councillors were shedding crocodile tears at the behest of their leadership who all endorsed slashing £44million from the Northern Trust Health budget between 2008 and 2011. He claimed the cuts to Health Care budgets continue unabated.
The Councillor said;
“The attacks we witnessed on Residential Care Homes last week had been instigated in 2009 following massive cuts in Health. The Executive created the on-going and systemic cuts to health. In 2009 Sinn Fein, the SDLP and the DUP rejected a proposal from the Health Unions to protect and ring-fence Health Care budgets. Why?
“The Executive are at the cutting edge of a class war against the most vulnerable in our society. Those parties who espouse Socialist values are in fact delivering right wing Tory led cuts. Socialism and class struggle are not merely defined as, or can ever be reduced to economics by itself. It must be used to enhance and preserve the Services we see the parties of the Executive categorically oppose, namely Housing, Health, Welfare, Education and Justice.
The Councillor also said it was embarrassing to watch other Councillors speak of ‘climb downs’ and welcome Minister Poots U-turn on Friday.
“Nothing changed after Poots announcement. Residential Care remains under attack from the Executive and the news that Day Care and Resource centre in Ballycastle are earmarked for closure will surprise no one. The multi millions removed from Health in the Northern Trust were not replaced. How could anyone in their right minds gloat about this like it was some form of victory?”
Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane has welcomed the return of the County Antrim Fleadh to Ballycastle and speaking from the event said;
“Ballycastle is this afternoon bursting with sunshine and music as the town provides a welcome to this year’s Co. Antroim Fleadh. The traditional workers holiday on the first Monday of May has given many a chance to be part of the opening ceremony in this year’s event.
“Traditional Musicians are pouring out of many venues across the town and impromptu performances are kicking off on many street corners along the main thoroughfare”.
The festival promises – A week of musical events, song and dance, starting today with street sessions and an outdoor concert in the Diamond with Craobh Rua. It will culminate in a gig at the seafront on Sunday 12th May with music from all the Antrim Branches.