How it’s all change for nationalists in Moyle
Nationalists on Moyle council have long been used to getting their own way.
Even though Northern Ireland’s smallest local authority has four independents, they are all nationalists. But when they meet under the auspices of the new Causeway Coast and Glens Council for the first time tomorrow, it will be all change.
For the new authority, merged with Limavady, Coleraine, and Ballymoney Borough Councils, will be unionist-controlled.
The DUP and UUP have 21 of the 40 seats and TUV a further three, while Sinn Fein and the SDLP muster 13 between them.
Yet veteran independent Moyle councillor Seamus Blaney argued there is not much for nationalists to be concerned about.
“I think they will get on all right. On the transition committee which was sitting in the run-up to the elections they got on particularly well with each other,” he said.
Mr Blaney, an independent on Moyle for 22 years, said: “We have had to work with councillors in Limavady, Coleraine and Ballymoney for a long time on planning issues and on the housing council, so it is not all that new.”
Mr Blaney, who has served for 22 years, is not so sure how the new councils will fare in other areas, however.
“You are going to have unionist strongholds and nationalist strongholds and of course there will be the hotheads as there always have been,” he said. “I don’t know how it will all pan out but the new legislation protecting minorities is stronger.”