Veteran Larne councillors to become freemen


Larne Borough Council is to confer freedom of the borough on two of its longest-serving members.

Veteran aldermen Roy Beggs and Jack McKee, who have sat on the council since its inception in 1973, will receive the highest honour the local authority can bestow in recognition of their decades of service.

The pair, who have both served as Mayor of Larne, are set to call it a day on their political careers when their council terms end in March.

Ald Beggs and Ald McKee did not put their names forward for election to the new Mid and East Antrim ‘super council’, which is set to replace Larne, Carrick and Ballymena borough councils on April 1.

Ald McKee will hand over the baton to TUV member Ruth Wilson, who secured a seat in the Larne Lough district electoral area (DEA) in the council election last May.

Meanwhile, Ulster Unionist representative Ald Beggs will pass the torch to party colleagues Maureen Morrow (Coast Road DEA), Mark McKinty and Andrew Wilson (Larne Lough DEA).

The honorary titles will be bestowed on Ald Beggs and Ald McKee as part of a series of planned events marking the end of the council’s life.

A spokeswoman for the local authority told the Times: “Events are in the pipeline but nothing has yet been formally agreed.”

The Times understands a civic recognition event could potentially be held for members of the community, although there are no specific details at present.

Since being created a borough in 1939, Larne Council has conferred the honorary title of freeman and given the freedom of the borough to a number of individuals and organisations. The first was the Rt Hon Sir Thomas Dixon on June 2, 1947.