World Heritage Centre Hosts Palestinian Refugees.

This gallery contains 10 photos.

The Visitors centre at the Giant’s Causeway is a world away from Aida, a Palestinian refugee camp near Bethlehem that houses 5000 people in an area just two hundred meters long by four hundred wide. Staff at the world heritage site on the North Antrim Coast played host to a visiting delegation of young people […]

Moyle Council Approves Move to take Tourism Leisure Facility to Design/Planning Stage


Artists Impression of Leisure Facility on Quay Road, Ballycastle

Artists Impression of Leisure Facility on Quay Road, Ballycastle

Moyle District Council is preparing details for the design and planning of a £10.5 million pound project for a Tourism and Leisure centre in Ballycastle. The Council finally agreed the provision of a local quality Leisure Centre is a frontline service priority following intense lobbying by Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane.

The Council will now move to place the development of the centre on the corporate plan of the new Super Council. Councillor Mc Shane who sits on the voluntary transitional committee said;

“Moyle Council for the first time has an opportunity to leave a legacy to those, who for forty years paid above average rates for minimal service. Due to the vast geographical area and small population base Moyle has never been able to match its lofty ambitions with its low financial resources. It remains the only Council area in the North without a public swimming pool.

“We have an opportunity to address this historical imbalance now and the chance must be seized upon by Councillors. If Council applies £140,000 for design and planning we can bring forward a project that is ready to obtain funding from central government and start developing as we enter the Causeway Coast and Glens super council.

“The people of Moyle deserve the facilities enjoyed in other areas of our new super council. We can not expect residents here to fork out for state of the art leisure facilities in Limavady, Ballymoney and Coleraine while they do not enjoy the same here. It is also strategically important for the funture development of our local Tourism industry.”

PSNI Refuse to Remove UDA/UFF Flags



An Independent Councillor has echoed the call from residents in Mosside to have paramilitary flags removed from the village. UDA and Ulster Freedom Fighters flags adorned numerous lampposts in the village and one UDA flag has been hoisted on a flagpole at the entrance to Community Walk beside the Council’s community centre.
Councillor Padraig Mc Shane made the call following a meeting with several residents on Friday night. After the meeting he said residents were fed up with those who continued to besmirch the image of the village and the paramilitary flags were unrepresentative of the vast majority of those who live in Mosside.
Councillor Mc Shane said;
“It is no surprise that Mosside is in a state of decay with business closing and dereliction rife. Given the village sits on a main arterial route it should be booming. The bully boys who erect the ‘standards’ of murder gangs and who hold the community to ransom through intimidation, fear and violence must be faced down if the village is ever to recover.
“The community is aware of who is behind the erection of the UDA flags. Several feral gangs exist in the North Antrim area marking out territories and inflicting their malaise on the community.”
The Councillor is calling on the Housing Executive, the Council and the PSNI to all play their part in the removal of paramilitary flags in Mosside.
“To date the issue of illegal flags has seen the UDA tail wag the PSNI dog. The PSNI removed paramilitary flags last year in Ballyclare and following sustained rioting, apologised to the criminal gangs for having upset them. It is now time for them to stand up for the honourable members of the community in Mosside and not only remove the flags but remove the criminal elements off the community’s back.
In response the PSNI released a statement saying no flags would be removed until a new approach to emblems and other contentious issues was agreed at Stormont.
Councillor Mc Shane responded;
The statement from the PSNI is lamentable. It sends out a clear message to the community that they have been abandoned and left to the decree of criminal gangs. It may be worth reminding the PSNI that the act of flying these flags is not contentious but illegal and that in fact, they do have to do something about it.
“The PSNI may have ultimate responsibility but they are not alone. If Council or the Housing Executive have flags on their property they must also show support to the community and have them removed forthwith.”

Everyone Welcome to Palestinian Refugees Youth Group Visit to Moyle

971464_546267655409054_1301678931_nIn a tiny and vastly overcrowded space, measuring less than 200 meters by 400 meters, nearly 5,000 Palestinian refugees live in Aida Refugee Camp near Bethlehem. Some youth from the refugee camp are due to visit Moyle this week as part of the Moyle Twinning programme. On Friday a cultural presentation alongside a presentation on the history of youth growing up in one of the most overcrowded and hostile environments on earth will take place at 9pm in Sheep Island View Hostel, Ballintoy.
Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane from the organisers, ‘Antrim to Gaza’ said;
“We believe tolerance is integral to different groups relating to one another in a respectful and understanding way. The18 project will be used to develop understanding of cultural diversity through traditional dance and interactive discussion centring on human rights, justice and equality.
“Everyone is welcome to the presentation and we look forward to introducing the youth of Aida refugee camp to aspects of our own culture also.”
The night will  include traditional Palestinian dancing alongside Irish Dancing. Two short 8 minute films on life in Aida Camp alongside a photographic exhibition with interactive discussion on life in Palestine. Light refreshments will be available and admission is free.
THIS EVENT IS SUPPORTED BY Moyle District Council Good Relations Programme 2013/14


Ballycastle Housing Executive Protest

Protest at Ballycastle Housing Executive Offices

Protest at Ballycastle Housing Executive Offices

Residents of the Altananam and Broombeg estates in Ballycastle held a protest at the offices of the Housing Executive in the town. The protest was designed to highlight the unfair allocation of houses which one resident described as “immoral and unjust”. It took place on Thursday morning at 9:30am outside the Executive’s premises on the Coleraine Road.

Around 40 people held a ‘good natured’ protest in an attempt to have Senior Management in the region address the concerns of the local community. Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane and several community leaders met with Housing Executive officials over the last two weeks to address issues around anti-social behaviour, drugs and what they described as unfair allocation of Housing Executive properties.
Councillor Mc Shane stated;
“It is important that the local community have an opportunity to have their voices heard and I would commend residents for turning out inlarge numbers at such short notice.
“While I would commend the work of the Executive locally, a professional organisation who has interacted well with local communities, I feel questions are being asked around the effectiveness and the responsibilities of the organisation in implementing its legal obligations at senior level.
“Regional management over-ruled a recent decision taken at local level in the Housing Executive to allocate a house to a young gentleman in the town and has instead allocated it to someone with a long track record of drug convictions, theft and anti-social behaviour. It is only one example of many incidents surrounding allocation.  IMG_6763
“The concern for those who worked over the last ten years to address problems in areas like Altananam is obvious. While everyone should enjoy the basic rights to accommodation they cannot be used to undermine the rights of those who want to live in peace.
“The Executive needs to ask itself if the process by which its governing body oversees that the organisation is effectively run, is fit for purpose. I think that many independent observers would say that the governance of the organisation needs to be re-evaluated. There can be no hiding the fact that the points system that is used to allocate social housing is both antiquated and open to abuse”.
Local community groups have pledged to work alongside the Executive to find a resolution to the present difficulties and to protect and enhance local communities.