About this group
Rathlin Island lies just over six miles north of the small coastal town of Ballycastle, in Northern Ireland's picturesque Causeway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. With almost 8,000 years history of human settlement the Island is now home to a residential community of just over one hundred people and a rich cultural heritage. The Island is also important for its flora, seabird colonies and its unique underwater marine life.
The Rathlin Development and Community Association (RDCA) was established in 1978, changing to its current name in 1986. (www.rathlincommunity.org)
The aims of the RDCA are:
- improving the quality of life for those living on Rathlin
- ensuring that basic services and infrastructure are provided
- encouraging appropriate economic development
In recent years the Island has developed strong relationships with the Northern Ireland Regional Government in Stormont and the Executive endorsed the 'Rathlin Policy' in February 2010. (www.drdni.gov.uk/rathlin_island_policy.pdf)
Amongst many other items in the Policy and Action Plan is a commitment to develop Rathlin as a carbon neutral Island, generating electricity from renewable sources. The RDCA is working towards a Wind Turbine social enterprise. The economic benefit of revenue from such a development would contribute to the sustainability of the Island community beyond grant dependancy.
Locally generated electricity would also give us opportunities to consider electric powered transport options for the Island, including private cars, two island buses and possible hybrid ferries proposed for service to the Island in the future. The success of this project would open up possibilities for many other community projects and help fulfill the commitment to a carbon neutral Island.