Larne lodge lays wreaths at Clyde Valley graves

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The Captain of the gun-running ship Clyde Valley and the last of the gunrunners have been commemorated during a ceremony organised by a local Orange lodge.

Members of Magheramorne LOL 291 were joined by District Officers and other Orange brethren at the weekend as they laid wreaths at the graves of Captain Andrew Agnew, MBE and William McConnell.

Agnew was the captain who brought the Clyde Valley into Larne and during the ceremony at Glynn, extracts from his log detailing the extraordinary events of April 1914 were read by the Orange Order’s Director of Services, Dr David Hume.

McConnell was one of the Ulster Volunteers and helped conceal rifles in the local Presbyterian Church at Magheramorne and other locations in the aftermath of the event. He died at the age of 102 and is believed to have been the last survivor of the historic event.

Larne District Master Harry Carter paid tribute to both men during the short ceremony, indicating that without their actions and those of many others, history would have been very different.

During the commemoration, The Last Post was sounded by bugler Ian Cameron, a member of LOL 291 and Magheramorne Silver Band.

A short prayer was delivered by the lodge chaplain, James Paisley, while a wreath was laid at both graves by Billy Craig, a senior member of the lodge.

Local councillors Gregg McKeen and Mark McKinty were among those present at the event.