Designated ‘fan zones’ are to be set up in the borough for local football supporters to watch Northern Ireland’s Euro 2016 matches this summer.
With the Northern Ireland team making its debut at the international football competition in France this summer, fans have been calling for the local authority to provide focal points in Larne, Carrick and Ballymena to follow the action.
And Mid and east Antrim Borough Council has agreed to facilitate coverage of the matches on big screens at so-called ‘fan zones’.
The free events are being billed as family-friendly occasions, with hot food and soft drinks available. A number of other local authorities in the province have made arrangements for similar events.
Councillor Cheryl Johnston, who with DUP colleague David Hilditch and PUP representative Jim McCaw jointly lobbied MEA council on the issue, welcomed the decision.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for the borough to host a family-friendly event, where all ages can come together to cheer on the Green and White Army,” she said.
“This will be one of the most historical moments for Northern Irish football and I am delighted the council have agreed to mark it such a way.
“This will enable those who cannot travel to France the opportunity to watch the games on a large screen with family and friends with that unique match day atmosphere.”
The games will be shown at three venues across the borough, including the McNeill Theatre at Larne Leisure Centre, Jubilee Hall in Carrickfergus and the Des Allen Suite, Ballymena.
Further details of how to obtain tickets for the free events will be published on the council website shortly.
The tournament, which kicks off on Friday, June 10, will see the Green and White Army compete at their first finals since the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. Michael O’Neill’s team will take on Poland in Nice on June 12, before a tie against Ukraine in Lyon on June 16 and a final group game against world champions Germany in Paris on June 21.