Lammas Fair – need for community engagement

3 09 2011

Ballycastle SDLP Councillor Dónal Cunningham has called on the local community to use their experiences of this years Lammas Fair to suggest how the event can be improved in future years.

 “The Fair which has taken place for several centuries and brings visitors from all over the world to Ballycastle, belongs to the local community and its future should be shaped by them. Many people have suggested the need for a programme of community events to extend the celebrations.”

 “The Council needs to engage with the community and encourage the promotion of the Fair in a way that commands local support.”

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4 responses

4 09 2011
Margaret Kerrigan

The lammas fair has moved away from what it was 20 years ago. I can see it moving nearer and nearer the sea front, and thats not a good idea. The whole of Ann Street is empty. More stalls are needed in the centre as at present its so spread out. As well as that the run up to the fair is woeful. Cushendall can put on entertainment for a whole week during the summer and draw crowds and what do we have? We have a vintage tractor rally which is never advertised nor organized and a horse show which is the same. Get off your backsides in the council and bring back the fair like it used to be. Margaret kerrigan

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5 09 2011
ballycastlesdlp

Margaret
Thanks for that you have made several good points, I am very keen to see the week leading up to the fair developed into a Community festival with a host of other events and the “Heart of the Glens” is a good example to follow.
Our advertising is probably non existant , and the lack of stalls on Ann Street diminishes the atmosphere, I feel if we don’t take action soon the fair will is slip further. Thanks for the constructive comments,I know myself and other councillors will try and move the issue on.

Good Luck
Donal

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6 09 2011
Paul

Donal

I agree with the points raised by my mother but I would further recommend that we bring back the ‘family’ element of the Fair, the Fair today is just an excuse to drink (not that we need any of them). In days gone past there was a fancy dress parade, the Fleadh, community sports days, tug of war, horse shoe throwing competitions would it not be sensible to try and bring back these traditional family activities. I think trying for a week of festivities would be asking too much it would be better to start say on the Thursday. I recently attended the Air Show in Portrush, what a great family day out, Moyle District Council are relying on the history of the Fair to draw people into Ballycastle, we are being totally overshadowed by our Coleraine neighbours. When the super council come into fruition what hope has Ballycastle got?

In essence Moyle relies heavily on the scenery to draw tourists in, undoubtedly some of the best scenery in the world, but having talked to quite a few foreign tourist they all say the same thing, there is nothing to do Ballycastle, they all head off with their monies to Belfast, Portrush etc. and use Ballycastle as a base, however very few of their monies are being retained within Ballycastle.

Ballycastle has become tired over the years, Castle Street is a down right disgrace, would no one on the Council think of biding for THI funding to try and regenerate this part of the town?

Also the ‘New White Elephant’ that is the harbour masters office, what a complete was of time, money and effort, with a ferry or sorry ‘fairy’ terminal lying idle, would it not have made more sense to utilize this existing space? Or why not knock the terminal down altogether and build a sea life centre in its place, something that would actually draw people to the town and keep them here. Also the long drawn out debate continues regarding the leisure centre, study after study, we all know we need these facilities and if there is a will there is a way, its about time that the council stopped their petty party political arguments and started undertaking projects that the people of Ballycastle and Moyle want.

Regards Paul

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8 09 2011
Peter Molloy

OK 1.Get it right Donal, it’s not a “Lammas” Fair, It’s an “Old Lammas” Fair. If our Public Representatives join the increasing trend to misname our Fair, whose roots are in Pre – History not just several centuries ago, we will lose something of it’s uniqueness!
2. I agree whole heartedly that local people should be more involved in deciding the format of the Fair, rather than the street-traders who have no association with the town and are only here to make a fast buck.
3. I think instead of just going on a junket to other Fairs, Council should actually study how other Fairs of a similiar nature are actually organised and run and by whom, and who actually benefits.I’m not knocking Council who do a great job, organising and making sure that modern regulation of such events is complied with.

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