Mayor has ‘opened doors’ for Hibernians at Smiley Buldings

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A SPECIAL tribute is to be paid to Larne mayor Cllr Bobby McKee at an upcoming national meeting of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, after he hosted a reception for members of the organisation in the mayor’s parlour.

For the second time in his role of mayor, the DUP man welcomed a delegation of AOH members to Smiley Buildings, which included national secretary Harry McCabe, Co Antrim board president Bobby Loughran, county secretary Donal McCann and Billy McCambridge, who is secretary of Carnlough Division 154 and vice president in Co Antrim.

Also part of the welcoming committee were alderman Roy Beggs and council chief executive Geraldine McGahey.

Billy described the reception as “out of this world” and said the local authority had “really pushed the boat out” to help make the AOH delegates feel welcome.

He added: “We received a very warm reception, just as when we first attended the mayor’s parlour two years ago.

“Our national secretary, who is from west Belfast, found Bobby very pleasant and everyone was cracking jokes all night.

“It has taken someone like Bobby to open doors for us at Larne Council. He is a true gentleman and if his attitude is anything to go by, the future for Larne looks very bright indeed.

“We have built up a strong friendship with Bobby and Larne Council and we will be highlighting this fact at the national board meeting in Derry on September 24, which will be attended by AOH members from Ireland, Scotland, England, Canada, the USA, Australia and New Zealand.”

Cllr McKee said he was pleased to have been able to host the event and delighted with how it turned out.

“It was a very worthwhile and enjoyable evening with a lighthearted atmosphere.

“It is my duty as mayor is to represent both sides of the community and I welcomed the opportunity to have them back in the parlour,” he concluded.