Council to send four representatives on Somme trip
ANTRIM Council has agreed to send four people to represent the borough on this year’s Somme pilgrimage.
For the past two years, council has sent three representatives - the Mayor, a councillor and a representative from either Crumlin, Randalstown, or Antrim Royal British Legion.
Councillor Paul Michael - chair of Antrim Royal British Legion - explained that council had taken the decision three years ago to send a RBL representative along with two council reps, usually the Mayor and one other councillors.
Speaking at last Thursday’s Public Services Committee of Antrim Council, Cllr. Michael said that Crumlin and Randalstown Royal British Legions have sent reps and this year it falls to Antrim.
Mayor of Antrim, Roy Thompson, suggested that perhaps the “one or two members of council who haven’t been to the Somme” should be afforded the opportunity to go.
He noted that the newest member of council, the SDLP’s Kieran McMullan might be interested in going along.
“I think we should consider any councillors who have not been to the Somme; it’s a very worthwhile trip,” Cllr. Thompson said.
Cllr. McMullan said he would certainly be interested in going this year, particularly as he had a family connection.
“My wife’s grandfather is buried out there,” he explained.
He also asked if it would be possible for his wife to attend, at their own expense.
He was advised that this would be possible, as on previous occasions spouses had attended at their own cost.
Alderman Mervyn Rea, the council’s Somme representative, added that he would be happy to step down in attending this year to allow someone else to go.
However, Cllr. Roy Thompson said that with Ald. Rea’s experience of having been on the Somme pilgrimage before, it would be worthwhile having him go.
“We will have a councillor and a Royal British Legion rep who have never been before and I feel they would benefit from Alderman Rea’s previous experiences,” Cllr. Thompson said.
He proposed that this year, four people represent the borough on the Somme trip - the Mayor, Cllr. McMullan, Ald. Rea, and the RBL representative.
Ald. Rea noted that any local resident with a relative buried at one of the Somme graves that wished to have their details looked up by the council representatives on the trip should get in contact.
“That is why we are going, we are representing the borough,” Ald. Rea said.
He added: “This is something we are more than happy to do.”
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Weather for Antrim
Thursday 23 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 8 C
Wind Speed: 24 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 12 C
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