Speaking to the Larne Times after the special council meeting to discuss the “I Love Larne” documentary, Mayor of Larne Martin Wilson said that he believed Larne’s image can recover, and that the mood in the council chamber was one of “positivity.”
He stated: “There is a lot of positivity in the council chamber tonight around what can be done to promote Larne going forward and I think it’s because the town is so united around the outfall from this programme that it gives council the confidence that it can actually turn this around and present Larne as we all know and love.”
Asked if there would now be a major rebranding effort around “Team Larne,” Cllr Wilson commented: “Not necessarily so. Team Larne has been operating for ten years and I wouldn’t be in the position of mayor without Team Larne.
“This is more about the people of Larne than about council or councillors.
“This is about how Larne recovers from what it feels has been a dent to its reputation, and council will lead the fight to make sure it’s promoted in a much better way.”
Reflecting on the surprise felt by councillors at the content of the documentary, Cllr Gerardine Mulvenna, who was mayor at the time the programme was being filmed, stated: “When Guy King came to do the presentation we were led to believe that it was going to be promoting Larne and the people of Larne and as mayor I just felt it was a wonderful opportunity and we should embrace it.
““There are so many passionate, committed people right across the borough and in Larne from all the communities that do so much work in so we just thought it was fantastic.
“It has been so disappointing to see how it has turned out. It’s a total misrepresentation, it certainly is not a true reflection and I’m shocked at the unprecedented outcry and rage from all the social media.
“I think whilst people are angry, they are just so hurt.”