Wednesday, 30 January 2008

What is it?

It's spherical, about 1¾" diameter, weighs about 4 oz and has a crazed ceramic surface.

It was found near a former mound called Wine Hill in the townland of Eagry not far from Halliday's Citroen Garage.

One suggestion is a table bowl as played on a billiards table.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Two 1803 Censuses for North Antrim

The image shows some of the details available from the 1803 Agricultural Census. It's extant for the parishes of Armoy, Ballintoy, Ballyrashane, Ballywillin, Billy, Culfeightrin, Derrykeighan, Dunluce, Grange of Drumtullagh, Loughguile, Ramoan and Rathlin. The Trail Census for the Parish of Ballintoy gives full details about the families, including the wife's maiden name.

1803 Agricultural Census for North Antrim

1803 Trail Census for the Parish of Ballintoy

Friday, 25 January 2008

Causeway Coastal Path Blocked Between Ballintoy Harbour and White Park Bay

I understand the barriers on the Causeway Coastal Path were erected towards the end of the summer of 2007 and were subsequently enlarged. There is one barrier near Ballintoy harbour and another one (tumbled) at Park End, adjacent to the beach at White Park Bay.

This path will have been walked for generations, maybe even a few thousand years. Access for walkers previously was via styles on a number of fences that crossed the path.

The Countryside Access and Activities Network (CAAN) says it has a public liability insurance policy for the Waymarked Ways, covering the landowners over whose land the path lies but cover has been removed for this section of the Causeway Coastal Path until the barriers are removed. (Belfast Telegraph)

It would appear that Moyle District Council has a responsibility for public paths under the Access to the Countryside (Northern Ireland) Order 1983 but has been very dilatory in having the problems resolved.

Are health and safety issues increasingly being used to limit public access? Moyle Council still has bollards in place on the Sand Rodden, Black Rock Strand, even though the miniature railway has been in hibernation for months. Perhaps Council staff are in hibernation too!!

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Ian Paisley jnr, Tony Blair, David Hanson and the Saint Andrews Agreement, October 2006

I've just received a copy of a Jim Allister press release containing the following information released under a Freedom of Information request:

Requests to the Government from Ian Paisley Jr.

The Prime Minister has considered your requests and has agreed that we should try to respond positively. I will ask my officials to scope the issues set out below and report back to you once I have considered their findings

  1. £1m over seven years for the North West 200
  2. Resort Spa Planning approval inc. 200 homes
  3. St Pats Barracks - future use to be discussed with MP
  4. Giant's Causeway - Private Sector land to be included in development
  5. A26 upgrade - Ballymena to Ballycastle
  6. Ballee(?) lands - judicial review to be dropped
This letter should be regarded as a statement of intent. I should be grateful if you would provide some further detail on each item. My office will discuss with you at the earliest opportunity.

David Hanson
Minister of State
Northern Ireland Office

Here's a bit more about the Ballee affair, reported on the BBC, from an earlier post on Slugger O'Toole:

Three quotes from Ian Paisley jnr:
“There are six businessmen involved in all of this case” (repeated several times)
“if Mr Sweeney contacted me, of course I did (surely they’re on first name terms by now)
“I have no idea in terms of the business agreement that is in place between my constituents and their business partners ... I’m not privy to any of that, don’t want to be privy to any of that”
I googled with “sweeney ballee” and came up with this (delivered:12/06/2006) and this (Delivered: 16/02/2007) i.e. there has only been one developer in the relationship since February - Junior’s long term associate, Seymour Sweeney, yet Junior continues to fixate on six.
Who were the Six?
“Covenantors" means each of B J Eastwood, Kevin Lagan, Seamus McCloy, Seymour H Sweeney, R John Walker Snr and Thomas Wilson
It was down to Five by May, 2004.
“The members of the consortium were to comprise the appellant and the respondents together with Mr B J Eastwood who subsequently decided not to participate. The solicitors produced a document which was sent to the parties at the end of April 2004, the solicitors stressing that there would be no further amendments to it. It was to be signed by noon on 5 May 2004.”
It was down to One by February, 2007.
Who were the solicitors who produced what subsequently turned out not to be a binding agreement?
When the agreements with the former owners were completed it was agreed that the appellants’ solicitors should be instructed to draw up a written contract to record what had been agreed between the proposed members of the consortium.
The appellant was Seymour Sweeney so were the solicitors, er, Carson McDowell? If so, is there a sufficient separation between property developers and their solicitors and (very) senior civil servants - not to say, ministers?
Junior, apparently, was not privy to any of this ...
NB This might be the resort spa reference on the east bank of the River Bush just north of Bushmills.
Bombshell or damp squib?
BBC report - audio file

Allister follow-up statement

Monday, 14 January 2008

Richmonds of Conagher, 1961

Steve Richmond has sent me two YouTube links to a film commissioned by the Northern Ireland government in 1961 to promote the province abroad, particularly to US markets. The film features some members of the Richmond family and their farm at Conagher.

McKinleys once lived on the Richmond property and the McKinley farmhouse is currently in storage at the Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh, Co Tyrone

McKinley Day, January 26, 2008

"Canton's favorite son is Conagher's favourite great-great-grandson"

William McKinley, American President 1897 - 1901, was the great-great-grandson of James McKinley who emigrated from Conagher, Ballymoney, around 1743. McKinley, who fought in the American Civil War, was the last Civil War veteran to become President. It was in the first year of his second term in office that McKinley was assassinated. He was shot at Buffalo's Pan-American exposition and died eight days later.