Over 60,000 people sign up to Antrim Covenant Facebook group
A FACEBOOK group set up by in Antrim has had more than 60,000 people sign up to it.
‘Covenant 100 years on - let’s see how many we can get to sign this’ was started by Raymond Taylor from the Ulster Scots Trust in Antrim.
Last night more than 60,000 Facebook members had joined the group, which was only started on September 16.
The majority have signed the online petition in memory of the hundreds of thousands of loyalists who signed their names a century ago.
Group member and local UUP councillor, Adrian Watson, said: “We are putting on a whole Covenant exhibition and celebration and as part of the event we decided to start the Facebook site and see how many would sign up.
“But we did not expect this take-up, it is unprecedented.
“We thought it would have local interest but did not expect it to go this far. We are amazed at the sheer volume of people who have come on board, young and old throughout Northern Ireland and the world.
“We are going to keep it going and will hopefully hit the 100,000 mark by next weekend, with a bit of luck.”
Some recent online members have posted photographs of the signature of their ancestors from the original Covenant – adding their name to the online social networking site.
“This Facebook group is really bringing history to life,” Cllr. Watson said.
He added: “People are now signing the Covenant Facebook site after having looked up to see their great, great grandfather’s signature on the PRONI website.”
Thomas Sinclair, a leading Presbyterian layman, in the late summer of 1912 completed the wording that is so famous today.
A series of meetings to promote Ulster Day – Saturday, September 28 – when loyalists would be invited to sign the Covenant, was held in the 10 days prior to the big date. This culminated in the first signing of the document by Carson in Belfast City Hall, followed by hundreds of thousands of supporters.
“The exhibition is on show in Massereene House in Antrim and we are expecting a big crowd, including school classes,” Cllr. Watson said.
He added: “We have old UVF uniforms, guns from the old UVF gun-running days and we have printed 10,000 of the Covenant certificates.
“The hope is to give children the chance to sign the Covenant and keep the A4 certificate.”
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Weather for Antrim
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 10 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: South