From Magilligan’s epic beauty to saying farewell to friends

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It’s been another busy and varied week for the Mayor’s Diary, that has taken me back to my roots in Magilligan to wishing long standing Limavady Council employees farewell.

On Monday, Magilligan Field Centre celebrated its 40th birthday and I was honoured to be invited by its Director, Mrs Liz Wallace to open the ceremony in front of such a large group of very distinguished guests. The rolling landscape of Magilligan, which is sandwiched between Benevenagh mountain on one side and Lough Foyle on the other, contains such a wealth of ‘Geo’ and ‘Bio’ diversity material that it has become the ‘Mecca’ for anyone interested in learning about the natural environment.

This facility, which caters for day visitors and residential groups, has been the leading educator of students and teachers in this field for the past 40 years and hopefully will continue to do so for the next forty.

On Wednesday I spent the morning going between Roe Valley Leisure Centre and Scroggy Road pitches where a Cross-Border, Cross-Community Schools Festival Day, sponsored by the International Fund for Ireland, took place.

Involving approximately 160 energetic children from 12 schools across the North West region, including Co. Donegal, this tournament, very aptly named ‘Football4ForPeace’ has been running for the past six years as part of a peace-building initiative and which included pupils from both mainstream and ‘special needs’ schools.

Experienced coaches cleverly ensured that children from all geographical, religious, and cultural backgrounds mixed and played together in teams – what a fun way of teaching children about the important values of life!

I also had the pleasure of attending a warm and informal get together of Limavady Council staff to bid farewell to Martin Buchanan.

Martin, a Limavady man, is a well known face around the borough, and has always been on hand to help when necessary. Staff gathered to say goodbye to him after 35 years of service. I know this goes for everyone who knows Martin, we wish him well and he will certainly be missed!