People from both sections of the community in Rasharkin united at the weekend to point the way forward for a better future for the village.
The Community Centre was the focus for a gathering of groups and organisations who share the same ideals of developing an active community, strengthening the economic potential and improving amenities, environment and services.
The aspirations of all were highlighted by Michael Hardy, chairman of St. Mary’s GAC, who addressed a gathering including MLAs, the Mayor and a number of Borough Councillors all of whom heard him praise the good work being done in the development of a village plan.
Representatives of schools, churches, sports, youth and senior citizens groups, are solidly behind the Village Partnership and Community Association whose joint aim according to Mr Hardy is to promote the hopes and aspirations of the residents.
Also present was the Chief Executive Officer of Groundwork N.I. Sylvia Gordon whose organisation helped create a brand new recreational and play area adjacent to the existing facility. Costing a six-figure sum the project under the Peace 111 programme was supported by Ballymoney Borough Council.
The facility was officially opened by the Mayor accompanied by Mary Gilmore of the Village Partnership and Ms Gordon.
Afterwards, MLA Mervyn Storey said the Village Partnership had played a positive role in the recent past and he urged people to support everything being done to promote Rasharkin in a positive manner.
“They have delivered in a tangible way and everyone should be buying into it,” Mr Storey added.
Sinn Fein representative Daithi McKay also commended the work being down. Welcoming the playpark development he said: “The Village Partnership has carried out amazing work in a very short period of time.
“They have brought the community here together and we need to build upon this. There are very positive vibes coming from within the village at the minute and we need to ensure that continues.”
The Mayor, Cllr. John Finlay, congratulated Rasharkin residents describing their efforts as ‘wonderful.’
“This lets you see what can be done when people work together and augurs well for the future,” the Mayor added.