Bushmills Football Pitch to be Bulldozed for Parking?

A Council plan to bulldoze Dundarave football pitch and newly constructed changing facilities in the centre of the village of Bushmills has been described by a Councillor as; “A blatant attack on the working class community of Woodvale and Dundarave”.

The pitch and changing facilities were developed, only five years ago, by the legacy Moyle District Council with an estimated three quarters of a million pounds investment. Plans to waste that investment, meant to support working class communities have been savaged by one former Moyle Councillor.

The comments, from the most unlikely of sources, emanated from Independent Glens Councillor Padraig McShane.

He spoke out after a Tourism Parking study commissioned by Council indicated that Dundarave football pitch should be used as an overspill for the Giants Causeway World Heritage Site and a signed petition from residents was ignored by senior executives.

The Councillor stated;

“I attended a familiarisation trip to several sites in the village with a number of Councillors. Before studies into the most suitable sites have been completed, a Council Executive was advising that only Dundarave football pitch will seriously be considered for new parking.

“I posed several questions highlighting the Covenants and planning restrictions that existed on the lands. In addition I asked about the need for ‘green spaces’ and leisure facilities adjacent to residents but the questions were dismissed. The health benefits of green space adjacent to working class residential communities are proven to enhancing life chances.

“In addition I asked if there was a petition signed by up to 600 residents in the village campaigning to retain the football pitch and the newly constructed changing facilities. Senior Executives did indicate there was a petition but unbelievable, they dismissed its relevance. 

“There is clear evidence that private Business interests in the village have influence at Executive level in Council and are riding roughshod over the interests of working class communities. The document presented to Council and giving a scoring matrix on sites did not at any stage consider the impact on the community. I raise these points not only for Bushmills, but numerous projects that seem on the surface to be legitimate but, on closer inspection, have preordained outcomes. 

“The idea that we remove these facilities from the heart of the community and provide them on an edge of or out of settlement location beggars belief!”

Anyone requiring further information is asked to contact Councillor McShane on 07828112129

A sketch of Dundarave sports facilities. Car parking envisaged inside the red lines.


Moyle Equality Legacy Laid Waste in 120 Days of Supremacy In New Causeway Coast & Glens

Introductions. Councillor William Blair TUV Councillor Aaron Callan UUP Alderman Sam Cole DUP Councillor George Duddy DUP Alderman John Finlay DUP Alderman William King UUP Councillor James Alexander McCorkell DUP Councillor Alan McLean DUP Alderman Alan Robinson DUP

Some of the Members of the Causeway Coast & Glens who endorsed the Policy on flags: Councillor William Blair TUV Councillor Aaron Callan UUP Alderman Sam Cole DUP Councillor George Duddy DUP Alderman John Finlay DUP Alderman William King UUP Councillor James Alexander McCorkell DUP Councillor Alan McLean DUP Alderman Alan Robinson DUP Councillor Boyd Douglas TUV.

The euphoria combined with great expectations of a new brighter future are dead. Murdered by 100 days of unadulterated bigotry and old fashioned supremacy. For the people of the former District of Moyle, a council set up in 1972 to cater for that wild untamed fenian element that lives on the North Antrim Coast stretching largely from the village of Waterfoot through Cushendall, Cushendun, Carey, Armoy Glen and down into Ballycastle, it is the new and invigorated recalibration of the Orange State.

Moyle’s birth and very existence was down to the fact that Coleraine, Ballymena, Larne and in particular, Ballymoney’s ‘old school’ Unionist dominated representatives refused to countenance taking such a large base of the Nationalist  population. It’s political makeup could have tipped the balance of Unionist preeminence in each of the respective old legacy Council areas.

So Moyle, with the smallest population of 17,000, was little over half the size of the second smallest, Ballymoney with 32,000 and one of the largest geographical areas, battled its way from 1972 to March 2015 to provide for its ratepayers. With a low population base and no major industries it survived on a shoestring budget. It was fortunate in its geographical makeup with the Giant’s Causeway, the rope bridge, the Glens and of course Rathlin.  It battled hard to provide for all.

Now here’s the rub;

Moyle relied heavily on funding opportunities and voluntary organisations to make the ratepayers money go further. Officers became experts in obtaining funding of 80% 90% and up to 100% to finance projects that were simply out of their budget. Quay Road playing fields & synthetic turf, Ballycastle, Glenariff Forest Park, Millennium Park Bushmills, new sand based soccer pitch Dundarave, Changing facilities Dundarave, the Cottage Wood in Cushendall etc etc etc. Landscape schemes were applied for and funded at 100% right along the coast etc. The GAA in the area removed a massive burden from ratepayers, providing their own facilities, growing developing and working in close proximity with the Council to promote health and wellbeing.

Before Moyle Council ended, an Equality Impact Assessment concluded that on the basis of Services delivered in the community and sporting sectors, the ‘green Bantustan’ up beside Scotland had over delivered in the Causeway Ward (Unionist), and under delivered in Ballycastle while the Glens ward (the greenest of them all) needed serious investment and had been neglected. The message in these stats was that Republicans in Moyle had went out of their way to provide leadership and support the Unionist minority in the area.

No flags, emblems and a service delivery mechanism that supported everyone. It allowed everyone to adopt and foster their own identities, to feel equal. Those decisions manifested into strong community relations in the Glens and Ballycastle. It’s no accident that sectarianism is almost unheard of. There is no proliferation of flags and public bodies like schools, churches and voluntary groups work together without recourse to the question of one’s religion.

In contrast, Ballymoney Council chose to fly its Union Flag 365 days of the year. The community jumped on board following the lead. There is hardly a lamppost in the Town and most of the surrounding villages that flags don’t adorn. It’s only serious rival in flag proliferation, Coleraine, another legacy council. The two areas are bywords for sectarianism. A fundamental religious leadership applying the lowest common denominator to a population, drawn largely as those same political leadership might see it, from a lower caste.

The problem with the promotion of supremacy and the ideology that sees a young turk with a flute have the ability throw his arms apart and declare, ‘We are the People’ is its grotesque consequences. It’s no accident that the placing of one identity above  others allows for the dehumanising of an entire people.  The ideology allows those same people to burn 3 children in their beds in Ballymoney. It allows for the kicking to death of a father in Coleraine. It also generates enough hate for a ninteen year old to blow himself up in the pursuit of doing likewise to his catholic neighbour.

It does not end there. Those who make decisions to the detriment of the community over flags are the same people who are entrusted to make decisions for the benefit of the entire community on matters of business, finance, community development, infrastructure and wellbeing.

We have a stark choice as a community. We collectively face down the supremacist ideology espoused by those granted enough power by Stormont to create their own little Orange State on the North Antrim Coast. We also work together to maintain the relations carefully fostered over generations or we pass the area off into some horrible abyss.


Pandering to Sectarianism Costs Moyle Thousands.

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.”

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 dkinney@moyle-council.org

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

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!

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;


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

The ‘Red Baron’ Councillor and illegal Claims for Diesel

Let me make this clear, I would never complain about someone using fuel that could be deemed illegal in their vehicle. The only crimes I can identify relating to fuel is the price, the cartels that control the price and of course, the criminals who engage their poor and downtrodden in illegal wars to gain control of the commodity in the first place.

That said; when we hold public office and claim from the public purse (ratepayer) for “out of pocket” expenses for mileage, we do so in the knowledge that we are being remunerated for the costs associated with legal fuel (rather than the cheaper red) in our vehicles. To run a vehicle on illegal (red) diesel fuel and to ask the ratepayer to reimburse over the odds is almost akin to theft.

A Landrover Defender was stopped on the Carnbore Road, Bushmills and by police and then seized by Customs during a Road Fuel operation on the 24th of April. The vehicle belongs to Councillor Willie Graham. The Councillor has been consistently one of the highest claimers of expenses in Moyle.

I am calling for Councillor Graham to “return integrity to Moyle and resign immediately”.

“Councillor Graham has claimed a staggering twelve thousand pounds of rate payers’ money on mileage over the last three financial years. The rate payer will want to know how long vehicles belonging to Councillor Graham have been using illegal fuel. Is Councillor Graham going to return these funds to the public purse and do the honourable thing and resign?

“We have seen public confidence in elected representatives evaporate after the MPs expenses scandal. Dail Erinann with its culture of brown envelopes has had a similar impact on the faith of the public in the South. The Ulster Unionist Party must now do the right thing and replace Councillor Graham. The ratepayers trust is at stake”.

Its now over to the ‘Red Baron’ and the UUP.

Loyalist Bands from Outside Moyle Granted Local Ratepayers Money

[slideshow] Armoy/Sandy Row/Bratty/UDA

Dunaghy is a crossroads on the outskirts of Ballymoney. Not much happens at the crossroads yet Dunaghy meanders into the local headlines from time to time.

The source of the news, a Loyalist Flute Band! Dunaghy have been going for over one hundred years yet have embraced a UDA bomber, who blew himself up in 2002 at a house in Coleraine, as their mascot. William Campbell, it is claimed, was killed on active service on the 3rd January 2002. 2nd Batt-C Company Coleraine. Least we forget and all that nonsense!

The truth, Campbell died at his own hand while using pipe-bombs. Over 100 had been used to attack Catholic homes and properties in the Coleraine area in the months prior to Campbell resigning his breath.

Pride of the Park, a flute Band in Armoy, hosts a parade in the village annually. Loyalists from all over the North gather in the village. Pride of place is reserved for regular attendees from the Ulster First Flute Band, Sandy Row.

Sandy Row, resplendent in UDA regalia, acknowledges the input of their local hero Joe Bratty to wage a war on taigs via a dedicated bannerette.

Bratty ordered the attack on the lower Ormeau branch of Sean Graham’s bookmakers on 5 February 1992, an act resulting in the death of five men. Bratty, who was known for his hatred of black people, also appended the initials of the Ku Klux Klan to his graffiti.

I could go on to talk about the Causeway Protestant Boys or those bashful lads from Silver Plains who wrecked havoc on the town of Ballycastle but I would be losing the reader.

Moyle District Council, in their wisdom, decided to award these and several other bands (ten in all) for their input to the local community.

A Loyalist Bands Forum applied for funding for a seeding grant. The forum is made up of 5 bands residing in Moyle plus another 5 from Ballymoney! No matter how uncomfortable we feel, under legislation, groups must be allowed to gain access to public funds in an equal an honest process. Until Monday night, Moyle did exactly that.

Three years previous, an under age hurling tournament was denied access to funds because one of the teams resided outside Moyle. The decision was correct. A criterion informs that we invest our funds in Moyle.  Those criteria have neither been reviewed nor altered. The decision therefore to fund a group with 50 percent of its makeup residing outside Moyle should never have been approved.

I was on my own when I protested the anomaly with no colleague providing a rational for their decision to support the funding application.

So what of the crossroads? In an eerily fatalistic note, I doubt the grant will see the deficiencies of the local heroes diminish. The target of their wrath will always be their near neighbours in both Dunloy and Rasharkin. May the residents forgive us for promoting this nonsense!

Gaza Journalist Visits Moyle

Waterfalls with Paddy Mooney

Laragh Lodge Visit

A leading journalist from Gaza has arrived in Moyle this week on a fact finding mission following the Council’s recent Twinning Agreement with the coastal Mediterranean Municipality .

Award winning freelance journalist Yousef Al-Helou, best known for his work with Press TV, was introduced to several local Councillors and had a brief introduction to local politics on his recent visit.
Mr Al-Helou said,
“The Palestinians of Gaza City were delighted to hear the news about the Twinning Agreement with Moyle. Many times in the past we have felt the International Community in the West ignored our plight. By this simple act alone, the people of Moyle have truly lifted the spirits and the resolve of the people in Gaza who continue to suffer the humiliating effects of the siege. This agreement will enable both people’s in the two Districts to exchange knowledge, culture and best practise leading to a better future for us all.
The visit was organised by the local, Antrim to Gaza group who toured Mr. Al-Helou around the District including the Causeway, Rope-Bridge and several days in the Glens.
Mr Al-Helou concluded;

“I will return to Gaza with stories of Giants and Fairies plus beautiful Waterfalls. I will also return with the Knowledge that Moyle is home to some of the kindest people on earth. I hope that I may return to Moyle in the near future to brief the local people of what life is like in Gaza ”.

Yousef Al-Halou outside Moyle DC.