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.

M

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Attwood to be invited to Moyle District Council to explain his case.

Minister Attwood and his officials……. Do we have to go to Ballycastle????

An Independent Councillor in Moyle has challenged the Environment Minister to evidence how a National Park will improve the lives of those who reside within it. Padraig Mc Shane was speaking following the Minister’s ‘no show’ at a public meeting to debate the issue in Ballycastle. Seven Hundred people packed into the Council offices in the forlorn hope of hearing the Ministers proposals on Wednesday night.

Councillor Mc Shane said;
“I will be requesting the Chairman of Moyle invites Minister Attwood to a special meeting of Council, at a time of his choosing, to defend his position. It is obvious the Minister has abdominal issues with large crowds given his inability to attend both at Newcastle and Ballycastle. While he afforded no respect to the community here, he may present to the Council.”
“No qualitative or quantitative evidence has been presented at any stage to justify why the people of the Causeway and Glens would wish to reside in a National Park. The opposite is true with empirical evidence supplied indicating the decimation of the locality.”
The Councillor went on to add;
“It is this reason that prevented the Minister from coming to Ballycastle to defend his proposals. The Minister should be allowed to evidence his case but he is well aware he is running on empty.

Glen Rovers Footpath Moves Step Closer

Location of proposed footpath

A proposal for a footpath on the Glenshesk Road Armoy has met the Roads Service criteria to progress for a more detailed appraisal. The proposed footpath, almost five hundred meters in length, will run from Turreagh Terrace passing the Glen Rovers GAC  grounds and finish at Saint Olcan’s Church.

The news that the application has passed the first hurdle has been welcomed by Independent Councillor, Padraig Mc Shane, who commended the Church, the local GAA Club and the Glens Rural Community Group for combining their efforts to improve infrastructure for the local community. The Councillor had successfully lobbied Moyle Council to author a letter to Road Service informing them of the need for a footpath on the dangerous stretch of Road.
Councillor Mc Shane said;
“The three organisations have united magnificently to campaign for this footpath. While it has passed the first hurdle, Road Service will remain to be convinced of the project.
“I have placed it on this weeks agenda again at Council in an attempt to convince my colleagues to send a corporate message to ensure it is placed as a ‘top priority’ Road Service project in the area.
Roads Service have stated;
“This proposal has been added to a list of schemes in Moyle that will be developed in accordance with current policies. Prioritisation will take account of future funding availability along with a number of other key issues”.
Update
Since Monday night, my friends in Council have agreed to write to Road Service, again highlighting the need and also, to ask Road Service to prioritise the footpath in this area of the Glens.