‘Question Time’ for local councillors

Causeway Coast Peace Group with Councillors from Causeway Coast and Glens, at a recent meeting at Ramoan Parish Centre, Ballycastle. Missing from photo Councillor Ian Stevenson.
Causeway Coast Peace Group with Councillors from Causeway Coast and Glens, at a recent meeting at Ramoan Parish Centre, Ballycastle. Missing from photo Councillor Ian Stevenson.

Eleanor Duff, Leader of Causeway Coast Peace Group, welcomed over sixty members and friends to a recent meeting in Ramoan Parish Centre, Ballycastle.

Opening devotions were offered by Rev David Ferguson.

Eleanor then welcomed a panel of councillors from all political from the new Causeway Coast and Glens Council.

Those attending were Barney Fitzpatrick (Alliance), Norman Hillis (UUP), Maura Hickey (SDLP), Padraig McShane (Ind Nationalist), Cara McShane (S F) and later Ian Stevenson (DUP).

The Councillors answered three prepared questions: What do you see as the priority needs in terms of Good Relations in the Causeway Coast and Glens Council area? 2. In practical terms, what would you like to see the Council doing as a priority, and what can you do specifically, to develop Good Relations? 3 Have you any suggestions that you would like the Peace Group to do to further Good Relations?

The Councillors each stated this was a settling down period, where honesty and mutual respect was required of each other within the new Council. It was a very new experience being part of CC&G and there were many teething difficulties, which required honesty and co-operation which was emphasised again.

The Councillors said the Peace Group was inspirational and very beneficial and should continue to do “what we are doing”.

They reminded the group that we are a powerful lobbying group and we should keep more pressure on politicians, and where there is a problem, identify it and challenge the Council and keep pushing local representatives.

The second part of the event gave members the chance to ask questions from the floor and these were interesting and varied and answered with honesty and integrity by the Councillors.

Eleanor thanked the Councillors for attending and interacting with the Peace Group and Hon Secretary Mary Taylor for arranging the programme.

The next meeting of the Peace Group will be a Lenten Breakfast which takes place on Saturday 13th February at 9am in Bushmills Presbyterian Church Hall, followed with a Reflection by Rev Nancy Cubitt. Everyone welcome,