Alderman McKillop Moves to Clarify Misinformation on Dundarave football pitch
Statement by TUV Alderman Sharon McKillop:
“I regret that information has been circulating about a threat to Dundarave football pitch which is factually inaccurate.
“It is not correct to say that the football pitch is the only place being considered for a new car park.
“In fact eight potential solutions have been identified: Dundarave Car Park, Dunluce School Gravel Sports Field, Dundarave Estate Polo Lands, Dundarave Estate Potato Fields, Main Street Car Park, Bushmills Distillery Car Park, Giants Causeway and Bushmills Car Park and the former Dunluce Presbyterian Church Hall.
“I regret that these rumours are being spread. Are they motivated by a desire to stifle the regeneration plans for Bushmills? I would encourage groups who have an interest in sports and leisure provision to engage fully in the consultation process.
“I would call upon Councillor Padraig McShane – whose name is linked to the misleading blog post – to repudiate this dishonest report. Doubtless there will be many in the local area who will be surprised to see that he has suddenly developed an interest in Bushmills.”
You can read the blog post in question here https://councillorpadraigmcshane.wordpress.com/2017/12/18/bushmills-football-pitch-to-be-bulldozed-for-parking/
Speaking to Causeway Coast Community after publishing this statement – Councillor Padraig McShane said “Councillors from the DUP and Sinn Fein along with the TUV and myself attended a briefing and familiarisation trip to proposed sites in Bushmills in November. It was made clear by a senior Council officer that Dundarave football pitch was the only facility under serious consideration for development. Councillor McKillop was present when that fact was made clear. Perhaps she didn’t hear. The evidence is in a scoring matrix with the eight sites identified by Councillor McKillop was presented to the Council which indicated that the clear winner in site selection was Dundarave.
That is now a matter of public record. The criteria around site selection did not once give consideration to the working class community beside the pitch. I urge the TUV not to ignore working class communities ahead of private business interests in Bushmills.
I reject out of hand the idea that I have suddenly developed an interest in Bushmills or working class communities. The record shows that when Councillor Price McConaghy proposed the development of Dundarave, it was I who seconded that proposal in Moyle DC. Councillor McKillop should recall the dire provision of facilities at Dundarave that was helpfully addressed by our sports officer Mr Kevin McGarry and Councillor Price McCanoghy’s lobbying.
The MP for North Antrim was particularly vocal also. All councillors unanimously supported the new facilities. In addition, any and all proposals that can create jobs and enhance life chances, especially among socially and economically disadvantaged communities in the Council, I will support. If proposals are to the detriment of those communities I will highlight it to those communities despite other Councillors clearly finding that uncomfortable.”