DRAINS Bay is a picturesque location that serves as a gateway to the stunning Coast Road and Antrim Glens, with its sandy beach, majestic views and the iconic Black Arch welcoming visitors to the area.
But there are those who feel that one aspect of the area in particular leaves a lot to be desired – its name.
And in a bid to address this, Branch Road resident Patricia McNeill has asked Larne Council to look into the possibility of changing the name to Drinns Bay in the hopes of boosting the local tourist industry.
“I am so proud of Drains Bay and the surrounding area and honestly believe that it is one of the most beautiful parts of the world,” she told the Times.
“But I feel that the full tourist potential of the village is not being tapped into. I see a lot of visitors coming through on buses and stopping to admire the Black Arch, but many of them say to me that Drains Bay is a terrible name for such a pretty place, and they often ask me where all the drains are.
“However, I have carried out research and found that Drains Bay may actually be an anglicisation of the village’s original Gaelic name Drinns Bay, which refers to the blackthorn that grew profusely in the area.
“It is vital that we protect our local heritage and changing the name of the village would be a step in that direction. It would also be a positive move in terms of tourism, and many residents agree that it is time for the name to be changed.”
However, according to the local authority, the process of changing the name of a village, town or city is a “complicated and costly one”.
At a recent meeting of the public committee, director of development Linda McCullough laid out for members what exactly the process would involve.
She said: “There is currently no council policy which exists to deal with this process. In the first instance it requires the person requesting the process to take place to carry out a public survey where it can clearly be demonstrated that 75 per cent or more of the residents are in favour of the change.
“In addition, it requires considerable physical and financial resources as it involves many statutory bodies, agencies and services to carry the process out.”
The officer said a number of other organisations would have to be involved in the process, including Ordnance Survey, the Department for Regional Development, credit service providers, emergency services and historical societies.
She added that it would also involve change of street names, road signage, postal codes and Ordnance Survey maps, and the costs would be incumbent upon the person requesting the change.
The council resolved that its officers would carry out further enquiries and bring policy proposals to a future meeting of the development committee, setting out a process for anyone wishing to pursue this course of action.