Press release on Bank of Ireland closures

Hendrie: Bank Closures bad news for whole community


SDLP Local Representative Daniel Hendrie has said that he is very disappointed by the recent announcement that two Bank Of Ireland Branches are to close in Ballymoney and Kilrea. 

He Said

“it’s very disappointing that Bank of Ireland has decided to close branches in Ballymoney and Kilrea by June as part of its decision to close nine branches across Northern Ireland. This decision will have massive implications for staff and their families as well as having consequences for customers and businesses who rely on a dependable local service from their bank”

“This will leave customers in a situation where there is now no branch between Coleraine and Ballymena inconveniencing some while effectively forcing others to change to a different bank. This at time whenever people’s confidence in banks is at an all-time low these closures will only serve to increase the strain on people in these tough times and to further reduce people’s confidence in the banks”

“These closures well particularly hit rural areas in North Antrim hard, with small local business already facing difficult trading conditions, the closures will put an extra burden to travel further to their local branch as well as increased pressure on the staff who are being redeployed. “

“I hope that Bank of Ireland will reconsider these closures, as it not only affects staff and customers but entire communities who are dependent on access to local banking facilities especially whenever hard working families and business already have their backs to the wall”

“The SDLP has written to the Irish Bank officials’ Association (IBOA) seeking a meeting and seeking clarification on issues that are causing concern for customers and staff. My party colleagues and I will continue to challenge banks of decisions such as this ensuring that there is proper access to local banking for customers”


New Year Message

New Year message from the SDLP

Ballymoney and District SDLP has said 2013 must be a year focused on building a society based on values of mutual respect, reconciliation, social justice and providing opportunities for everyone .

Cllr Harry Connolly and Local Representative Daniel Hendrie said: “In 2013 your local SDLP team will be fiercely lobbying for the much-vaunted and much-needed Ballymoney town centre redevelopment plan to be realised. Promises from the DUP Social Development Minister are not enough – the people of Ballymoney and its district demand action and we shall be leading the charge.

“We will also be campaigning vigorously on youth unemployment and emigration, seeking to find ways of creating local job creation and training opportunities that will not only stimulate our local economy but also give our young people hope for the future in their home area. Emigration should be a choice or a last resort – never the norm.

“There will be a real focus on bringing new investment and importantly new jobs for local people to the area, later this year we will be starting a consultation on a redevelopment plan for the middle of Ballymoney.

“In 2013 the SDLP will continue to defend the people who have been left marginalised and without opportunity in our society, we will continue to fight for those people who will be left disadvantaged by the savage attack on welfare.

“We will continue to press for an education system which allows our young people to pursue their aims and ambitions.

“We will continue to argue for a youth guarantee for our young people which would get thousands of young people back into work, especially those young people who have been hit so hard by the downturn in the construction industry, allowing them to retrain into other industries.

“The Patton crisis has hit some local business very hard and there must be action taken to ensure that subcontractors are protected from events beyond their control.

“There must be a renewed reconciliation effort in the area, particularly given the events of December and January, there must be new talks around parading with an emphasis on mutual respect and cooperation. In particular 2013 must be the year that there is a solution reached on the parading issue in Rasharkin, The SDLP will work with all sides to ensure that there is a respectful agreement on parading. Respect for difference must be at the heart of all policies on emblems and identity, there is no place left in society for those who seek to use identity, any identity, as a form of intimidation or provocation.

“Small business must be given the support and guidance they need in these difficult times, with a great emphasis on more local targeting of investment.

“There must be reassurances that the council merger over the coming two years will not affect the rate payers.

“There must also be answers concerning the dismantling of the housing executive and the minister must provide answers on how this will affect local tenants and housing executive employees, there must be clarity on the future of the housing executive office in Ballymoney and the service it provides to local people.

“None of these aspirations are achievable without action, we will not rest in our efforts to make Ballymoney and its surrounding area a place where we can all live in comfort, prosperity and mutual respect. Our doors are always open so do get in touch.”



Compensation needed for victims of Ulster Bank chaos

The SDLP Local Representative for Ballymoney, Daniel Hendrie has said the Ulster Bank chaos must be resolved now and compensation should be provided for those who have lost out as a result of the “four weeks of madness” inside Ulster bank.

Mr Hendrie stated “the scale and length of this failure is completely appalling, hard times are bad enough without hard working people and business being denied access to their money. The lack of communication and knowledge of the problem inside Ulster Bank has caused a major blow to the credibility of Ulster Bank who, as part of RBS, is 80% owned by the tax payer.

The problems stretch further than just cash, people’s livelihoods have been put at risk because of this failure, and that is totally unacceptable. Ulster Bank has badly let down their customers in failing to provide the most basic of banking functions. It is only right and fair that compensation be provided for people and businesses that have been directly or indirectly affected by the on-going crisis.

Frontline Ulster Bank staff are working very hard, in difficult conditions to resolve the problem, who too have, I am sure, been personally affected by the problem. However, where people have experienced serious failings they should complain in writing to Ulster Bank and failing that, to the financial ombudsman and should be pressing for fair and reasonable compensation”

Last week SDLP MP’s met with the Chiefs of RBS in London to seek reassurances that the problem would be resolved as quickly as possible and that this would not occur again. After speaking to the chief executive of RBS, SDLP leader Alasdair McDonnell stated “We underlined the lack of quality in Ulster Bank’s communication with customers and warned that computer generated letters being issued centrally telling people that they’re overdrawn or had incurred bank charges were totally unacceptable.”

“We also stressed that there was a serious risk of people’s credit ratings being detrimentally impacted upon due to RBS’ mess-up and assurances were given by the bank’s Chairman that customers’ credit ratings would be protected. The SDLP, through our representations at Westminster and in the Assembly, will continue to push for the proper correction of these problems.”






At what cost ? – Sinn Fein and Marian Price


The resignation of Anita Cavlan as broke by the Irish News today was more than a little unexpected, rarely do we see Sinn Fein elected representatives breaking rank (and party affiliation) over a topic so active in the public domain. The continued Detainment of Marian Price has seen some of the best and worst of local politics in Recent years with parties reverting to form and others being lost somewhere in the wilderness as Sinn Fein have been. It has already been widely commentated on that it is beyond unusual that a party who are synonymous with republican communities and who claim to be defenders of civil rights, are so completely apathetic towards the plight of Marian Price.

Whatever your view on Price and her previous acts, it is hard to argue with the grounds on which the SDLP have campaigned for her release, those being the entitlement to Due process and the right to choose your own council as well as compassionate grounds. The SDLP would be asking for the release of any person under the same circumstances who are so clearly are deprived of their civil rights.

The resignation of Cavlan reveals more than meets the eye; for one it demonstrates that the issue of  Price is a divisive issue within the Party. This comes as no great surprise, what is more surprising however is that it is now apparent that Sinn Fein have actively tried to prevent it from becoming a talking point internally, all this while toeing a fairly wishy-washy line publically. Dark green republicans within the Sinn Fein ranks must be scratching their head wondering precisely why a topic such as prisoners’ rights is being so enthusiastically swept under the political carpet, and it must being left wondering exactly what is going on within the upper echelons of Sinn Fein.

All this comes at a time when Sinn Fein decision making has left a lot to be desired. Sinn Fein have run a less than credible “NO” campaign in the south, while admitting defeat in Foyle by shipping Martina Anderson off to Brussels. The truth of the matter remains that the big ticket political projects north of the border still require DUP approval, Girdwood demonstrates the bartering that takes place between the OFMDFM war lords, so was the cost of allowing them to support Price simply too great…even for a political millionaire like Sinn Fein?


Local Rep Launch Press Release


SDLP Leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell MP MLA has appointed Ballymoney man Daniel Hendrie to join councillors in North Antrim as a local party representatives for people in the Ballymoney area.

Daniel will be working closely with Ballymoney Cllr Harry Connolly to serve the needs of people in the area.

Mr Hendrie, who is currently Vice-Chair of the SDLP in North Antrim, said: “I am honoured to have been selected by SDLP Leader Dr Alasdair McDonnell to work alongside Cllr Harry Connolly as a local SDLP representative for Ballymoney.

“I believe that the core founding values of the SDLP are becoming more and more relevant in our community with social justice, reconciliation and forward thinking economics being the only solutions to the current political quagmire and our dire unemployment situation in Ballymoney.

“As a local representative I work to help everyone in our community, particularly young people like myself. Too many people of my generation have been left with no other option but to flee our island and emigrate to Australia and Canada due to the sheer lack of employment opportunities here.

“This has torn so many local families apart and has been very painful for these people’s parents, siblings and friends.

“In my new role will endeavour to assist local businesses in accessing government services to create jobs for people here and will do my best to help those being hit by cuts to welfare and working tax credits.

“This is an exciting challenge and I look forward to playing a role in the SDLP locally to improve the quality of life for people in Ballymoney.”

Dr McDonnell added:  “Since becoming SDLP Leader I have pledged that I would make the party at all times electorally battle ready.

“I have begun that process internally and part of that is about identifying energetic people like Daniel who can look to fill some of the gaps that have emerged, represent the SDLP locally, serve the Ballymoney community and prepare to fight upcoming local government elections.

“I am sure Daniel will do a sterling job in supporting our local councillors in representing the interests of people in the area.

“I am delighted to have this dynamic, vibrant and able young man on board and I look forward to working with them to help people in Ballymoney.”

You can vote for change, Full Press release to Ballymoney Papers

With only days remaining till the election on may 5th young SDLP candidate Daniel Hendrie has been on the doorsteps of the town challenging people to vote for change in the Ballymoney council. Mr Hendrie who is running in the Ballymoney town area is the youngest candidate in the Borough area, at just 20 years old. Seeing his youth as an advantage Mr Hendrie has pursued a manifesto of new modern ideas, something which he believes the current council simply cannot deliver. Saying

“It’s clear for all to see that the current makeup of the Ballymoney council simply isn’t delivering for the people; the DUP led council made up of almost entirely of over 40’s simply has not provided the right answers to the right questions. In the last six years the council has done nothing to improve the prospects of the town centre which is fighting for survival, it has done nothing to tackle the issue of the Joey Dunlop leisure centre, while community and sports funding still appears to be a lottery. All of this at a time when rates are at a scandalous high”

On the issues of rates Mr Hendrie continued by saying that a lot of the council’s failings were down to serious mismanagement on the council’s part claiming

“The council needs to catch a grip on its finances, to stop squandering money on pointless projects, it needs to rethink operations which aren’t cost effective and to cancel operations which aren’t vital but yet are haemorrhaging money. The people of Ballymoney would be hard pressed to identify were large amounts of their rates are being spent and I can’t blame them, all of this at a time when councils and governments alike are supposed to looking for efficiency savings”

Mr Hendrie went on to say that if Ballymoney was to prosper and grow then it needs new people on the council who are willing to make change and tackle the issues rather than sidestepping them saying

“There are members on the council at the moment who do next to nothing for the people of Ballymoney, who fail to attend meetings on a regular basis, who fail to have any meaningful input into decisions and who simply are not representing their own constituents, yet who still manage to take a pay packet at the end of it, this ‘part time – job for life’ culture cannot continue, it is completely detrimental to the decision making process. A process which will become even more important after the election given the new planning powers the council will have full control over”

Mr Hendrie believes that this election could prove to be a real turning point in the fortunes of Ballymoney town and the borough as a whole but only if the right people are elected for the job

“The electorate of Ballymoney have one of the best opportunities in a generation to change the shape of the council, but this can only be done if people come out on Thursday and use their vote. If you’re fed up with the same council doing the same thing year in year out then come out and vote for change, if you sick and tired of the same people making the same bad decisions then come out and vote for change. The people need to see the damage that is being down to the town, but it doesn’t have to be this way, there is another option and by voting for the SDLP on the 5th of May you could exercise this option

Use your voice, use your VOTE

The elections on the 5th of May for both assembly and local government will shape the political process in the north for the next 4 years and beyond. The impact government can have on life and role of young people has never been greater, helping them progress as school leavers to being in the work place and starting a family, government affects all of this, and this is why it’s more important than ever for young people to use their vote and have their voice heard.

It cannot be over emphasized just important every vote is, the election for the council in the Ballymoney council area is one of the tightest contests in many years; with 9 candidates for 5 seats and 2 seats really up for grabs it will come down to the wire come the final vote. No candidate can rest on their laurels having to scrap for every available vote.

This local government election may prove to be the last before the introduction of RPA (review of public administration) and this is why it’s so important that what needs to be done for Ballymoney can be done before RPA takes effect, and why it’s vital that Ballymoney has real effective representation through competent councilors willing to tackle the big issues head on and solve the major issues in the town, issues surrounding shopping in the town centre, leisure facilities, community and sports funding, all issues which been postponed and postponed by the current DUP led council. These issues can only be solved by having the SDLP at the heart of the council helping it pursue a progressive agenda and really improving life for the people of Ballymoney.

On the 5th of may use your voice and use your vote, vote SDLP

countdown to the election.

well its the 3rd of april and the election campaign is well under way, have had alot of response from local residents in Ballymoney with great enthusiasm for a new younger candidate. alot of big issues have been brought for the new council to deal with, in the town local business and community funding and facilities are main talking points and rightly so. I’m wanting to persue a new direction for the Ballymoney council, hoping to get greater openess from the council in terms of publishing accounts and clarity on future funding. But as with all elections, votes are everything and you, the people are the only ones who can make things change by using your vote and making your voice heard on polling day. Ballymoney along with the rest of Northern Ireland is facing huge problems and they can only be tackled with effective representation from the SDLP


I was recently selected to be the SDLP representative for the Ballymoney Town area. And so in the run up to the election campaign I’ll be out and about taking your views and problems and hopefully helping as much as I can.

Politics in Northern Ireland or anywhere for that matter can seem very distant at times and so I’ve created this blog to help and engage with the people of the Ballymoney Area to demonstrate that your views really do matter and that they really can make a difference.

The blog will be updated as much as possible with both local issues and with wider Irish and Northern Irish topics, this is a place of engagment and debate so dont hesitate to leave a comment (just nothing offensive).

p.s this blog is still in the construction phase so not all pages are complete so please check as regularly as you can.