Bicentenary tribute for Ballycarry bard James Orr

Members of the Redhall Masonic Lodge with Billy Thompson, representing the Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim, at the event. INLT 17-640-CON
Members of the Redhall Masonic Lodge with Billy Thompson, representing the Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim, at the event. INLT 17-640-CON

Representatives of the local community, Masonic Order and Ulster Scots groups paid tribute to the memory of James Orr, Bard of Ballycarry.

On the 200th anniversary of Orr’s death, a gathering at the Templecorran Cemetery monument to the Weaver Poet was heralded by the skirl of the pipes on Sunday afternoon, and several of his poems were read as part of the proceedings.

Local historian Dr. David Hume told those present that Orr had been foremost of the Ulster Weaver poets and the Robert Burns of Ulster.

He said that the Bard of Ballycarry had been ‘a people’s poet’ who wrote for and about his local community as well as wider themes.

Poems by Orr were read by Hazel Robertson of Ballycarry Community Association and Billy Thompson, representing the Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim.

The event marked the 200th anniversary of the death of the weaver poet, which took place on April 24, 1816.