Recognition for Larne DUP stalwarts

Sammy Wilson MP pictured with Bobby and Betty McKee, and Winston and Eilieen Fulton.  INLT 24-678-CON
Sammy Wilson MP pictured with Bobby and Betty McKee, and Winston and Eilieen Fulton. INLT 24-678-CON

Warm tributes have been paid to two former Larne mayors for their decades of service at a special event in the town hall.

East Antrim MP Sammy Wilson and the local DUP association recognised the contributions of party stalwarts Winston Fulton and Bobby McKee.

The pair, who had a combined service of almost 60 years, both retired when Larne Borough Council came to a close in March.

Speaking to the Times after the event, Bobby said he was “honoured” by the recognition.

“I was over the moon,” he added. “I received a nice painting and my wife Betty was given a bunch of flowers, which she appreciated.

“I served 26 years on Larne Council, and while it wasn’t always plain sailing, I enjoyed it and feel very privileged to have been a part of it.

Bobby said his work as an elected representative gave him something to focus on during “very volatile times”.

“I think we left Larne in a much better condition than it was in when we started on the council,” he added.

Winston, who spent 32 years on Larne Council, also expressed his gratitude to Mr Wilson and the association and said it was “nice to be recognised”.

“I joined politics to help the community and I very much enjoyed my time on the council,” he added.

“I have plenty of things to keep me busy in my retirement, but I still take an interest in politics and help out with the party when I can.”

Paying tribute to his colleagues, Mr Wilson said: “I have always been greatly supported in my role as MP by both Winston and Bobby and I want to thank them for all the work that they have put in over many years.

“They have been diligent councillors who always put the people they represent first and they made a significant contribution to the area.”

Mid and East Antrim Cllr Gregg McKeen added: “I had the privilege to serve on Larne Borough Council with Bobby and Winston for 14 years.

“I deeply appreciate all the advice and guidance they have given to me over the years and I am pleased that we are able to recognise the service of both men.

“We also want to thank their wives, Betty and Eileen. We know that they too sacrificed so Bobby and Winston could carry out their role as a public representative and we thank them for it.”