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.

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Supremacist Council Picks A Fight They Must Lose

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Legal proceeding have begun as a collective think-tank of republican activists, business men leaders & community leaders held meetings to address the Causeway Coast & Glen’s Council decision to fly the Union Flag in Ballycastle. Last week the new Super Council in Coleraine adopted a policy that will see the Union flag being hoisted on […]

Glens Retained In New Domain Name. Legal Threats Thwart Partisan Ambitions!

glens-of-antrimThe Glens will be retained in the domain name of the super council. The new model, stretching from Greysteel near Derry City to Waterfoot in the Glens of Antrim, being brought in under the Review of Public Administration will merge Moyle Limavady, Coleraine and Ballymoney councils.

Independent Councillor Padraig McShane welcomed the move saying it was essential for the development and security of the Causeway Coast and Glens brand. In addition it will make sure the business sector is not disenfranchised in the Glens area.

“I welcome the fact that both the DUP & UUP in Ballymoney and Coleraine have been brought to their senses. The first proposal was both sectarian and partisan. No reasonable argument could be presented to sustain the proposal to drop the Glens”.

Councillor McShane had promised to take the matter to the courts with a judicial review being proposed should the transition committee have decided to drop the Glens from the domain name.

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Coleraine Councillor George Duddy who was keen to remove the Glens from the domain name of the new Super Council

“It’s ironic that it was Coleraine DUP Councillor George Duddy who proposed the domain name to include the Glens in the title. He had been one of the most vocal proponents of dropping the Glens.

“Those set out to intentionally disenfranchise anyone on the basis of their culture or religion have learned a valuable lesson I feel. A judicial review will go with attempts to do either both now and in the future.

“The domain name should never have been an issue. I would hope the unfortunate episode can now be set to the side and the committee can perform on the basis of equality and need”.

Sinn Fein Motion Gives Bigotry A Temperory Glimpse of the Sun

Giants Causeway-Gaza City

A motion brought by Sinn Fein to Moyle District Council condemning Israeli actions in Gaza this month in normal circumstances could have been applauded but there is nothing normal about Moyle. The only Council in the North to operate without ‘Standing Orders’ it allows for previous decisions to be overturned on a whim.  It allows the Chairman almost unrestrained powers when chairing a meeting and allows, at her discretion, the opportunity to take any counter proposals she deems acceptable from the floor.

With all this in mind, the opportunity to attack Moyle’s historic Twinning Agreement with the Municipality of Gaza presented itself. If one Councillor was missing, the motion should have been withdrawn removing the opportunity for a counter-motion. Apologies were received on behalf of Councillor Blaney at the beginning of the meeting. At this point, Sinn Fein should have informed the Chair that Item 9, Gaza Motion be withdrawn. They didn’t.

No one can question the commitment that Sinn Fein has shown to the Palestinian cause over the last generation. Likewise other Republicans and Nationalists and more and more Unionists. For anyone to engage in such nonsense is utter folly. So it begs the question, what was Councillor Thompson thinking when he brought the motion to the floor of the Chamber – a motion that he knew he could never win?  Simple mathematics indicated what way the vote would go. I warned Sinn Fein of exactly this type of scenario ten days prior to the meeting. I implored upon their conscious to withdraw the motion.

This type of motion that we see time and again from Councillor Thompson is ego driven. The nature of these motions contains no substance and is simply employed to attract personal attention. I would hazard a guess that the Councillor went on a solo run and in doing so could have destroyed two years of work by a dedicated group of volunteers who were the driving force behind the Twinning project.

While Thompson’s ego did not receive the boost it so desperately craved, the TUV’s alongside the Orange Order’s certainly did.

Councillor Sharon Mc Killop in a piece (most likely dictated on her behalf by Jim) stated;

“A proposal put forward by Sinn Fein’s councillor Thompson expressed “solidarity” with the people of Gaza  – was up for debate.

“Thankfully, however, the motion presented the council with an opportunity to vote on the twinning arrangement again and I am delighted to be able to say that due to proposals put forward by councillor McIlroy and seconded myself the council passed a resolution ending the twinning arrangements between Moyle and Gaza.    (Ballymoney Times Webpage)

The normally very talkative Councillor Thompson for his part declined to comment on Councillor McKillop’s comments according to the Newsletter on 28/11/12.

Mc Killop’s Party Leader Jim Alister went on to add;

“This is a welcome development. I know that the twinning arrangements were a great source of annoyance to many ordinary people in the area. In fact, I suspect that the annoyance the issue caused Unionists was the chief reason why Nationalists pushed ahead with it. Sharon was worked hard on this issue and I am delighted with the result of last night’s vote.” (Ballymoney Times Webpage)

While Jim and the sidekick Mc Killop engaged in the odious triumphalism that sets them apart from most elected representatives it was the former Co Antrim Orange Grand Master and Moyle Councillor Robert McIlroy that delivered the predictable rebuke and subsequent counter motion to Thompson’s posturing;

‘we are dealing with terrorists’ and ‘we should not be associated with that’. He called on the Council to withdraw from its ‘alignment’ with Gaza.  (Ballycastle Chronicle Webpage)

There are many ways to champion the supremist Orange Order and the TUV. Ideally it should be down to them to take on the obnoxious task. But every once in a while a Public Representative can come along and do their job for them. For every action there is a re-action. It is of the utmost importance that we think of the re-action before we engage the action. What else could we have expected from the Orange Order and the TUV. It may now be time for someone to read over Councillor Thompson’s armature ideas, stunts and arguments before they are let loose on the public.

While expressing my disappointment with an individual, I reiterate that I commend the work SF and others in Moyle have done and continue to do on behalf of the Palestinian people. Unionist intransigence and bigotry manefisting itself in the most repugnant of Political guises in the TUV and the Orange Order share the responsibility of shaming humanity. This type of Jim Crowism must be erased from the pages of time and we must all work together to obliterate it.

The Twinning itself is a permanent Twinning mechanism so while a vote was taken to massage some equally large egos it changes nothing. The Twinning with our friends in Gaza remains.

Mc Shane Calls for Removal of Orange Hall :)

“Dole Office…. Certainly redundant”

A Local Councillor in Ballycastle has challenged what he described as the “Forked tongue of the Orange Order” after the Order’s press release on the raising of the tri-colour on a Hall in the town.

The erection of the Irish tricolour in Ballycastle County Antrim has been condemned by the Orange Order as a “cheap sectarian stunt“.

But Councillor Padraig Mc Shane said,

“Well really, it’s a bit rich! What next? The Klan to celebrate the emancipation of slaves?  The Orange Order can not pontificate on sectarian stunts without giving themselves a poke in the eye. They have engaged in stunts themselves for a number of years with sectarian parading etc.”

The flag was attached to a pole at Ramoan Orange Hall in Ballycastle overnight on Monday but was subsequently removed.

Condemning the incident, an Orangeman said the “cowardly perpetrators” had carried out the act “under the cover of darkness“.

Independent Councillor Padraig Mc Shane went on to say;

“People in the town are seething with anger and have demanded the removal of the offensive item. Locals have told me its very bad for community relations.

“They thought it was a dole office some years back and have not seen an Orange Man about the place for years.

“I would join with the community and call for the removal of the Hall at once………………Keep the flag.”

Orange Order Funding-A Joke!

A Councillor in Moyle reacted with bemusement to suggestions of a ‘Funding disparity’ between the Orange Order and the GAA in the District. The claim made by a Lodge member was laughed at by Councillor Mc Shane who said, “They must apply before we can refuse them”.

The reaction comes following revelations obtained under a freedom of information request that, over a three year period, Moyle District Council had contributed £378 to the Orange Order while over the same period the GAA obtained £62,000.

Much of the funds obtained by GAA Clubs in Moyle had been gained through the ‘Community Infrastructure Fund’. The fund was set up in 2008 after it was requested by Independent Councillor, Padraig Mc Shane.

Councillor Mc Shane stated;

“I proposed the Community Infrastructure Fund be set up following lengthy and protracted meetings with senior officials in both the GAA and Moyle District Council. It was plain to be seen at the time that Moyle had never sought to support the organisation in any meaningful manner relating to its size in the District. Over 120 teams play Gaelic Games in Moyle. The fund was not set up in isolation but rather, was for all voluntary and community groups to obtain funding.

On the allegations of funding disparity Councillor Padraig Mc Shane said;

“The first thing we must do is distinguish between a National sporting organisation and a supremacist, quasi-religious organisation. No comparison exists.

“Secondly, it would be important to ask ourselves why the Orange Order received no funding. Given they never applied, it will be relatively easy for the ratepayer in Moyle to understand why they drew a blank.

“The days of a wink and a nudge to obtain funds in a local Council are over and the Orange Order is now subject to the same rules as everyone else.”

The Councillor finished by saying;

“Of the £207,889 allocated since it was set up, the Community Infrastructure fund has enhanced the six GAA clubs in Moyle by over £100,000. The combined costs of the part-funded projects amount to almost £750,000 helping to redress a historic legacy of under funding in this sporting sector.

“The funding won’t be going away as my proposal enjoys the support of the SDLP and Sinn Fein. Councillor Blaney is also an avid supporter. Added to that, many Unionist Councillors also realise the benefits of the fund.”