Call to recognise Darren Clarke’s Senior Open success on Mid Ulster signs

Mid Ulster District Council officers are to explore the possibility of adding Dungannon golfer, Darren Clarke’s most recent success to the town’s welcome signage.

Congratulating the 53-year-old on his success in the Senior Open at Gleneagles, Councillor Clement Cuthbertson – speaking at the council’s monthly meeting on Thursday, July 28 – asked if the council could update signage on the approach roads into Dungannon to recognise the golfer’s latest success.

At present the signage lets people know they have arrived in the ancient capital of Ulster, “Home of Open Golf Champion 2011 Darren Clarke” and Cllr Cuthbertson asked if it would be possible to update the sign to reflect the fact Darren Clarke is also the 2022 Senior Open champion.

“I want to first take this opportunity to congratulate Dungannon’s Darren Clarke on his first Senior Open Championship victory at Gleneagles,” said Cllr Cuthbertson.

Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland with Aine Binchy, Deputy Chair Open Championship Committee, The R&A during Day Four of The Senior Open Presented by Rolex at The King's Course, Gleneagles on July 24, 2022. Picture: Phil Inglis/Getty Images.

“Darren has become one of only four people to win both the Open and the Senior Open.

“In 2011 the legacy Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council granted Darren the freedom of Dungannon and, at that time, we erected singnage on the approach roads into Dungannon reflecting his British Open victory in 2011.

“Following his latest success, a couple of people in Dungannon have contacted me to see if it would be possible to send congratulations to Darren on his recent win and reflect this recent success on the signage.

“The signage states 2011 Champion at the minute, so can we recognise this latest success also on the signage as well.”

UUP group leader, Councillor Walter Cuddy seconded this proposal and said it would be a good idea to update the signage to help promote golf in the area.

“We spent a lot of time and resources in 2011 marking the victory,” he said.

“Any time he wins anything he is the Dungannon golfer. He is a big personality in that sport, we have Killymoon, we have Dungannon and Ronan Valley in Magherafelt, three good golf courses in the district.

“Anything that links golfers to this area and helps keep the area’s profile up as high as possible is a good thing. The north coast gets a lot of tourism from golfers and we could maybe attract some golfers down here as well.”

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Council’s Chair, Councillor Cora Corry also extended her congratulations to Darren Clark and told the chamber Council officers “will have a look” at this request and report back to the environment committee with a recommendation on how to proceed.