THE Mayor of Coleraine hopes that the remaining episodes of The Estate will show the “amount of excellent work that is ongoing in Ballysally”.
Alderman Maurice Bradley, who has represented Ballysally for 16 years, offered a “guarded response” to the screening of the first episode of the programme last Monday.
“This is a fly on the wall documentary and although it is based in Ballysally, it could have been filmed on any estate, private or public, anywhere in Northern Ireland, and the same types of problems, struggles, highs and lows etc., would be found.
“I am not going to speculate about the content of the next episodes, because quite frankly, I don’t know.
“However, one major concern that I do have is for the amount of excellent work that is ongoing in Ballysally. There is so much positive work through Ballysally Primary School, the churches, Focus on Family, Ballysally Youth and Community Centre (BYCC) and the Healthy Eating Cafe.
“In fact, Ballysally has more going for it than most other areas in Northern Ireland and I sincerely hope that that is the overall message this documentary brings to light.
“Of course, there is the other fear from the residents who actually live in the estate, and would live in no other area, that this documentary has not focused enough on the vast majority of residents who enjoy a peaceful existence, nor has it given any credibility to those who have worked tirelessly on the estate for years on behalf of the residents.
“Sometime, during this documentary, I am hoping to see all that hard work; the individuals; the community leaders; the primary school; Focus on Family; Ballysally Community and Youth Centre and the churches recognised for their achievements and that Ballysally is a better place than any other in which to live, work and raise a family.
“I have represented Ballysally for the past 16 years. I have been in the estate, have raised issues on behalf of residents, and worked with Focus on Family, Ballysally Youth and Community Centre and other groups within the estate.
“I have seen first hand and I have confidence and believe that the people of Ballysally are amongst the finest in Coleraine.
“I was brought up on an estate, not unlike Ballysally, I have continued to live in the same estate for I live in the house I was born in.
“Through my work in the Coleraine Chronicle, I am well aware that a reporter can concentrate on negativity, or show positivity, it is all down to how the story is told.
“The beginning of the Ballysally has been aired, I look forward to the other episodes with enthusiasm that all that is good in Ballysally will shine through.”
See this week’s Coleraine Times for a four page news special on The Estate.