History of Ballycarry Gathering outlined in book

Dr. David Hume, Bobby McKee, Valerie Beattie, Cllr. Mark McKinty, Hazel Robertson and Rev. Dr. John Nelson at the launch of the booklet on the history of the Broadisland Gathering festival.  INLT 09-731-CON

Dr. David Hume, Bobby McKee, Valerie Beattie, Cllr. Mark McKinty, Hazel Robertson and Rev. Dr. John Nelson at the launch of the booklet on the history of the Broadisland Gathering festival. INLT 09-731-CON

A booklet detailing the history and development of the Broadisland Gathering festival was launched in Ballycarry Community Centre last week.

The launch included a panel discussion on the festival, featuring former Larne Mayor, Bobby McKee MBE, Rev Dr John Nelson, Hazel Robertson and committee member Cllr Mark McKinty.

Festival Director Dr David Hume outlined how the proposal for the Festival had been put to the Larne Borough Council and approved in February 1993, the first Gathering being held that September.

“Ballycarry has a rightful place at the centre of everything Ulster-Scots. It is one of the heartlands of Scottish settlement in the 17th century,” he said.

“The Broadisland Gathering is a community festival which has much potential for the community and for its future. From little acorns big trees grow and in 1993 a seed was planted which has developed beyond the dreams of 1993.”

Chairperson of the Community Association, Valerie Beattie reflected on the outstanding success of the festival over the years and said that one of her many memories was the visit by then Secretary of State Dr John Reid MP.

There was also music and poetry at the event, provided by Iain Irvine and Hazel Robertson, while among those present were five local councillors, Maureen Morrow, Ruth Wilson, Gregg McKeen, Paul Reid and Mark McKinty.

The booklet highlights aspects of the development of the festival including the townland banners project and Clan Chieftains.

It was part-funded by the Community Relations Council and copies are on sale at £3.00 from Beattie’s Shop in Main Street, Ballycarry.