North Antrim UUP dress up to address the Haggis

NORTH Antrim Ulster Unionist Association recently hosted one of the best attended and most successful Burns Night events when dozens of members and guests packed Clough Masonic Hall for the traditional supper.

The event was organized by the Seven Towers and Braid UUP branches from the Ballymena region and was chaired by Mr Robin Swann while guests and members were welcomed to the night by Mr Roy McClean, North Antrim UUP Treasurer.

The traditional ceremony of the address to the haggis was expertly given by Mr Lawrence Gamble after the haggis was piped into the hall by Mr Alister McIlroy. The Toast to the Immortal Memory of poet Rabbie Burns was given by former Ballymena Mayor, Councillor James Currie.

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The Toast to the Lasses was proposed by South Antrim UUP MLA, Danny Kinahan, and the Response from the Lasses given by Councillor Sandra Hunter, Vice Chairman of Moyle District Council. The post meal entertainment was provided by Mr Alec Logan.

Assemblyman Swann said that the various events held around the constituency, Northern Ireland and further afield to commemorate the life and legacy of Rabbie Burns were examples of rich cultural expression.

He said: “It turned out to be a very memorable night for all who attended with an excellent programme of entertainment, which included a range of musical entertainment, with the skirl of the bagpipes, especially when the ceremony of piping the haggis into the hall took place.

“The highlights of the evening were a number of recitals of Robert Burns’ renowned poetry. I congratulate everyone for all their efforts in making the evening such an excellent spectacle of culture enjoyed by the community at large.

“The life and talents of Rabbie Burns have far reaching consequences to this day. Rabbie Burns was not an establishment figure; his poetry was designed to challenge. He was a man ahead of his time, he believed in the equality of man and it is this trait in particular that I find most appealing of the man,” said the MLA.