WIDESPREAD praise was lavished on Cllr Sandra Hunter, the outgoing Chairperson of Moyle District Council, from all quarters at the Annual General Meeting in Ballycastle on Monday June 24.
Cllr Hunter - who runs a large farm almost single-handedly - also packed in a lot of work during her year as Council Chair and attended a range of events across the community stretching from the Causeway to the Glens.
Her happy-go-lucky nature endeared her to all and when her term ended the praise was fulsome from all quarters around the table at Sheskburn House.
Cllr Hunter said one of her core values when she took office was to work for all of the community in Moyle and she said she believed that was what she had done.
New Sinn Fein Council Chairperson Cllr Cara McShane, whose first words upon taking the Chair were in Irish, told Cllr Hunter: “You really represented this Council fairly”.
Cllr Randal McDonnell (Independent) said people were completely amazed by Cllr Hunter’s energy and conscientious approach to her council duties.
He thanked her for giving one of the best years as a Chairperson in Moyle in all his time in the Council from 1985.
Cllr Willie Graham (Ulster Unionist) said Cllr Hunter had put in “110 per cent” of effort and Cllr Seamus Blaney (Independent) - who had been in the deputy Chair last year - said he enjoyed working with Cllr Hunter.
SDLP councillor Catherine McCambridge said Cllr Hunter had been very even-handed and was probably the best Chair she had seen in her 12 years at Sheskburn.
She said she was glad to hear Cllr Hunter speak in Ulster-Scots at the end of her leaving remarks.
Sinn Fein councillor Colum Thompson said the people of the Glens had commented on the number of events in their area which the Chairperson had attended.
Cllr Robert McIlroy (DUP) said it was a job well done by both Cllr Hunter and Cllr Blaney.
Independent councillor Padraig McShane commended Cllr Hunter on a “wonderful year” and the outgoing Chairperson thanked everybody for their kind words.
Cllr Hunter listed a number of highlights during her year in office including being in the company of The Queen in Enniskillen during the jubilee year.
The councillor also met Olympic hero Michael McKillop and North Channel swimmer Wayne Soutter.
She welcomed developments at the Giant’s Causeway Visitors’ Centre and said she enjoyed attending a range or events across the district.
Cllr Hunter said one of the best attended meetings ever held in the hall at Sheskburn related to opposition to a National park in the Causeway area.
She said planning permission is currently hard enough to secure in the area but she feared if the plans go through it would leave the area in a “time warp”.