Animals kept in Shocking Conditions Above Iconic Rope-bridge site

Equines seek shelter among cattle in a field directly above the costal path to the Carrickarede rope bridge. The field, visible from the Whitepark Road has no dedicated shelter and is barren exposing livestock to the harsh winter elements. I took a couple of dedicated horse enthusiasts out to inspect conditions and get briefed by expert opinion.

Kerry Anne and Roisin noted the condition of the field itself, completely barren of grazing and over its entirety nowhere for animals to lay down and rest and no natural or built shelters at all. It’s not a good idea to keep horses alongside cattle for the mutual benefits of both sets of animals. While the animals had access to feeder it seemed apparent that they had gone hungry and that was beginning to evidence itself on one of the horses. The biggest issue was undoubtedly the conditions of the field and lack of shelter.

A number of constituents have been in contact and last week the environmental health department of Causeway Coast & Glens Council was notified of the conditions. That raises further problems as they are obliged to notify the keeper of the animals. They In turn have time to rectify the conditions. Unfortunately sometimes this only leads to the animals being moved on with no improvement in their welfare.

We will continue to assess the conditions while Council carries out their statutory requirements under animal welfare Legislation.





PSNI suspect device! 20,000 P45’S discovered in Stormont

No support exists in Ballycastle or the Glens of Antrim for violence. No bomb was discovered in Cushendun despite widespread media coverage to the contrary. SF the sdlp and the psni need to get off the community’s back in Ballycastle and the Glens.

The local community are demanding answers –
  • Why won’t police say what was discovered?
  • Why all the ‘cloak & dagger’?
  • Why is local constitutional nationalists attempting to frighten and criminalise the community in the Glens of Antrim?
  • Why are politicans reporting a bomb find in Cushendun yet no evidence of a bomb ever existed?
DESPERATE SF/SDLP using ‘dissident bogeyman’ to remove attention from their commitments to Tory Welfare

What sf & the sdlp failed to learn from last year’s incident in Ballycastle was no bomb existed there either.  In March of 2015, A vulnerable gentleman within the community told police he was going to leave a device at the police station in Ballycastle. A hoax operation, manipulated for widespread media coverage all over Ireland, reported ‘a viable explosive device’ in Ballycastle. Two army bomb disposal teams and a controlled explosion helped add to the theatrics.


PSNI suspect device! 20,000 P45’S discovered in Stormont

Every politician within Nationalism locally attempted to paint the picture that we had ‘evil dissident bogeymen’ within our midst in the Glens. After investigating, the PSNI Press Office relented and admitted the bomb was a half bottle of petrol lying in the middle of a concrete yard. What purpose did the reporting serve? More importantly, what damage was inflicted on the reputation of the people of Ballycastle and the Glens? Last weekend’s ‘discovery in Cushendun was likewise.

What is not beyond doubt-  These two parties need to remove attention from their commitments to 20,000 job cuts, their implementation of Tory Welfare reforms, their attacks on the poor and vulnerable, and their continued commitment to sectarian based politics.

The combination of MI5/PSNI attempts at manipulation of our media coupled to ‘willing lemmings’ in sf/sdlp ensures the truth is the first casualty. Tory controlled constitutional nationalism must abstain from making cheap political capital on the backs of the local community in the Glens of Antrim.


PSNI suspect device! 20,000 P45’S discovered in Stormont

No violent Republicanism exists in the Glens of Antrim but rising opposition to the Executive’s pro Tory austerity agenda is beginning to evidence itself. The incidents attempting to highlight the former seem like an attempt to obscure the later. -Cllr Padraig McShane

Why Dungiven Matters to Ballycastle & The Glens

If the new facilities were developed in Dungiven, it would reduce revenue (annual year on year) costs by £70,000 for the new Causeway Coast and Glens Council. That is £70,000 saved each year, largely due to energy efficiencies found in new construction methods. To put it in context. That is £70,000 per year over the lifetime of the centre, taken at an average 40 years. That equates to £2.8million saving for the rate payer in the district – less the £350,000 initial capital investment. I can not stress this enough.
What is holding back Dungiven is equally holding back development in Cushendall, the Glens, Ballycastle and Loughgiel. Each an area of historical inequality and underinvestment. 
The reality for the new government authority is plain. If they wish to invest to enhance community and sporting facilities, they are obliged to do so in Nationalist and Republican areas where that historic inequality will require a generation of investment to balance out with those Councils who delivered for one section of the community. The stats are backed up by countless workshops and research done within and outwith the Council.
For the Glens Ward (Rathlin Ballycastle Loughgiel Waterfoot Cushendun Cushendall) inequalities to be addressed, it is vitally important that a common sense and business like approach is taken to Dungiven to release additional capital for the future. Other more unpalatable avenues are open to us as Councillors to raise funds should sectarianism continue to be the final arbitrator.
I was pleased to be asked to speak at the debate on Dungiven sports facilities last night in the County Derry town.
At the public meeting, those Unionists opposed to investing in Dungiven give no logically compelling, deeply informed or rational reason for blocking a perfectly sensible business case. That speaks for itself.

“No Jobs for Local Community” – Rathlin Energy

Rathlin Energy:    Employment Opportunities Will be non-existent for local communities.

Rathlin Energy:
Employment Opportunities Will be non-existent for local communities.

Rathlin Energy, the Canadian owned Oil and Gas prospecting Company who are currently seeking planning approval for a second well in Ballinlea, will not be a major employer in the local area. The news was released by Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane following a meeting with Company directors last week.

Councillor Mc Shane met Diarmuid O’Loan, the company’s planning agent, and former UUP MLA Dermot Nesbit, who is a director of Rathlin Energy at Sheskburn House on Thursday.
The Councillor was joined by Conor Mc Carry of Ballycastle Community Development Group.
Councillor Mc Shane stated:
“Fracking was only discussed for a limited period of time as we found the company had been evasive while addressing questions in the past. Instead we focused on socioeconomic issues – chief among them was job creation.
“Rathlin Energy confirmed that no major employment opportunities would present themselves and the programme of work they envisaged would not be labour intensive. In addition, drilling rigs and specialised crews would all be brought in from overseas to the Ballinlea site. Neither would the company be offering training to enhance the prospect of job creation within the local community”.
Mr. Conor Mc Carry who is currently engaged in third level environmental studies said:At Sheskburn House L-R Diarmuid O'Loan and Dermot Nesbit Rathlin Energy with Councillor Padraig Mc Shane and Mr. Conor Mc Carry.

“While discussions were limited on Fracking the company continue to insist it is a valid option. Also lower domestic energy prices could never accrue when any such commodities would be traded on the global market. I was pleased when the Company performed a volte face and confirmed as much.”
Councillor Padraig Mc Shane finished by stating:
“The meeting confirmed that very limited or possibly no jobs would be created for the local community by Rathlin Energy. In addition the Public Relations spin about cheaper energy prices can be firmly dismissed. All in all there may be no real tangible benefits for the wider community who may have to live with irreparable environmental damage”.

County Antrim Fleadh kicks off amid sunshine in Ballycastle.

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.

Arrest in Ballycastle murder!

Crime scene investigators at the the murder scene at Stroanshesk Park in Ballycastle where th eoplice have launched a murder investigation after a man in his mid twenties was stabbed to death on Sunday afternoon. PICTURE STEVEN MCAULEY/KEVIN MCAULEY PHOTOGRAPHY MULTIMEDIA

Crime scene investigators at the the murder scene at Stroanshesk Park in Ballycastle where th eoplice have launched a murder investigation after a man in his mid twenties was stabbed to death on Sunday afternoon. PICTURE STEVEN MCAULEY/KEVIN MCAULEY PHOTOGRAPHY MULTIMEDIA

A man in his mid twenties was murdered in Ballycastle County Antrim on Sunday afternoon. It is believed he was stabbed to death in a house in the Stroanshesk area of the town. He has been named locally as Kevin O’ Neill.

Police have arrested one person believed to be a man in his mid twenties. Forensic detectives are examining the scene, a house in StroansheskPark.

Speaking following the death of Mr. O’ Neill, Ballycastle Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane stated;

“This is an absolute tragedy that has befallen this young man’s family. They have my deepest sympathy for their loss. He was held in high regard by those who knew him best and he will be sorely missed.”

Councillor Mc Shane worked with the deceased for over a year and had come to know him well.

“Kevin was a likable young man. I will always be thankful that I had the opportunity to get to know him and I know many of his large circle of friends will be mourning his sad repose.”

Moyle Policing & Community Safety Partnership. Is it fit for Purpose???? Is there a Purpose????

Moyle Policing and Community Safety Partnership has been left reeling after a second resignation since its inception in 2012. Phillip Mc Keown, an Independent and former Vice Chair of the District Policing Partnership, tendered his resignation from the new body last week. To date he has given no reason for the decision. He follows in the footsteps of Councillor Padraig Mc Shane who resigned from the new body a fortnight after it was set up.
Councillor Padraig Mc Shane stated;
“I initially agreed to join the new body with a view to positively shape local Policing but after an induction meeting it became apparent that the new body had no intention and much less remit to bringing about change. The area commander was forceful in her opinion at that meeting, the new body would not be holding the Police to account and if anything, the Justice ACT 2011 would in effect provide the opportunity to reverse the tables on the community sector.
“Policing within the community as a concept has failed, not only in the North but also in places as diverse as Manchester, Liverpool and London. It became apparent that attendance fees and mileage claims were of the utmost importance while holding the Police to account locally was far down the list of many members considerations.”f25aac8ff26c002109a3a51b40ee2269
Members of the local Policing and Community Partnerships receive sixty pounds a meeting for a maximum of twenty meetings a year plus expenses.
The Independent Councillor finished by saying;
“It is wrong to attempt to mislead the public in relation to the success of local Policing Partnerships. Clearly there are problems given the latest developments. Furthermore public interest has manifested itself in the lack of members of the public attending meetings. Only two people attended the latest public meeting of the local Partnership. This trend is replicated right across the North with a meeting in South Belfast being cancelled due to no members of the public turning up.”
The Policing and Community Safety Partnerships (PCSPs) were established in April 2012 as new statutory bodies as an enactment of The Justice Act (Northern Ireland) 2011. The PCSPs bring together in one partnership the functions and responsibilities of the former District Policing Partnerships (DPPs) and Community Safety Partnerships (CSPs).
It is claimed the PCSPs were to build on the most useful and effective aspects of each of the previous two partnerships, while operating in a more streamlined and joined up way.
The Moyle PCSP is made up of eight Councillors and seven Independent members of the community sector. Councillors are appointed on the basis of electoral success.

Imminent Announcement on Marine Hotel!!!

Marine Hotel

Marine Hotel

The long running saga over the reopening of the Marine Hotel could be nearing its conclusion according to several sources. It is thought that the sale of the premises will be completed in the next week with the new owners keen to renovate and open the doors for the summer time.
Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane, a keen advocate for the reopening of the Hotel, did not wish to speculate other than to say he expected an announcement from the new owners in the very near future.
“It is no secret that everyone in Council is keen to see the Marine up and running again. Council is prepared to help and assist the new owners to ensure the vibrancy and sustainability once enjoyed at the sea front returns as quickly as possible.”
The Councillor has also championed the need for a second hotel in the town supporting the 116 bedrooms Drumawillian Hotel. The four star luxury development is thought to be at an advanced stage with further announcements imminent.
“Ballycastle and the North Antrim Coast must become a destination for holiday makers as opposed to a day trip for holiday coaches”, the Councillor stated.

Glens People Respond to Arson Attacks

Seamus Mc Closkey Private Contractor @ Sleiveanorra Forest

Seamus Mc Closkey Private Contractor @ Sleiveanorra Forest

A Councillor has welcomed the input and support of the local community in the Glens after a ‘Forwarder Machine’ used to extract logs had been burnt out at Sleiveanorra Forest. The vehicle belonged to a private contractor and was attacked by arsonists almost two weeks ago. If followed numerous incidents of theft of diesel from a number of plant machines in the area.
Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane said;
“A number of individuals came forward to offer assistance in the Glens area following the arson attack. Between them and the contractor a Rota has been drawn up that will witness round the clock security for the vehicles at Sleiveanorra Forest.”
Last week the Councillor stated;
“To replace this machine ‘second hand’ could cost as much as £150,000 and it is a pathetic action in an attempt to steal a few litres of fuel. Not only is it a direct attack on an outdoor resource in Moyle but it is a very personal attack on a private individual attempting to earn a living”.

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.