Is the council embarrassed? Controversy over naming ceremony of NI Centenary Antrim Stadium



At a ceremony to rename Antrim Stadium, a representative said it appeared that the council was “ashamed” of celebrating the NI Centenary.

The decision to rename the facility next to the Antrim Forum Leisure Center was taken by members of Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough CouncilNI Centenary Working Group as part of a program of programmes.



A budget of £50,000 has been set aside for centenary celebrations in the city.

At this month’s meeting of the Council’s Community Planning Committee, Antrim DUP Counselor Paul Dunlop, chair of the NI Centenary Working Group, said: “We’ve had a few events over the past few months, one of which we’ve named Antrim Stadium. Nothing has been reported on social media regarding the event.”



He also pointed out that he had asked clubs and schools to be invited to the re-dedication, which was held during the Halloween period. He said he believed there was a “lack of movement” by the council regarding the event.

In response, Ursula Fey, director of community planning, said: “We were looking for a date not too far into winter.”



Ballyclair DUP clerk Jenny Archibald-Brown said: “I think the lack of event is the key to the centenary’s events. It seems the council is shy about celebrating the centenary in Northern Ireland which is so important to many of our constituents.” Is.

However, Glengormley Sinn Féin clerk Michael Goodman said: “I’m a little surprised as I’ve certainly seen social media regarding the renaming of Antrim Forum Stadium on Twitter and Facebook the week of the event. I’m not sure if there are more members. What do you want to see?

“The fact that people don’t see it is hardly the fault of the authorities. It’s there and can be seen by everyone.”

Deputy Mayor Clerk Stephen Ross, ThreeMilewater, suggested that his colleague Councilor Dunlop was pointing to the council’s Facebook page because it was a council-run event.

He said the local authority had brought the working group together and said that they would take up the matter again in the steering committee.

Antrim SDLP councilor Roisin Lynch, chair of the Community Planning Committee, said she would ask the director to “come back with a report at an appropriate time”.

Elsewhere, the naming has been criticized in athletic circles on social media, with one commenter noting that the Antrim Forum was first opened in 1979, stating that it had “nothing to do with the century”. is not” and it was “dividing a non-divisive game”. ,

Commenting on the re-dedication ceremony attended by the NI Centenary Working Group, councilors and local runners, Antrim and Newtownbay Mayor Councilor Billy Webb said the newly-named Northern Ireland Centenary Stadium would “accomplish all history, events and achievements”. Clubs and athletes over the years”.

“I am delighted that we have been able to incorporate this special re-dedication of our athletics stadium into our program of centenary events.

“Over the years the stadium has witnessed a large number of successful events as well as athletic stars training here and have been successful in their sporting careers due to the dedication of the coaches and clubs.

“I know there will be many more success stories to come under the new Northern Ireland Centenary Stadium name.”

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