New Orange arch plan for Carrickfergus town centre
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The application has been made by Number 19 District Orange Lodge for the erection of a traditional Orange arch “over the public highway” at Joymount Link opposite Carrick Town Hall.
A concept statement provided to council planners by the lodge says: “It is proposed to erect an Orange arch as a temporary overhead road structure. This will be done annually by arrangement with DfI (Department for Infrastructure) Roads’ approval using the standard procedure for temporary structures.”
The Lodge also indicated that “traditional art effects and historical symbols will be fixed and displayed” on the proposed new structure, the underside of which, will be 5.5 metres above road level.
“The arch will be erected on the week prior to the re-enactment of King William Landing that takes place as a major community event on the Saturday prior to 14 June each year and remain in place until the Royal Black Preceptory parade on the last Saturday in August.”
The Lodge explained the landing celebration has been taking place annually since 1948 and is “an all-day festive occasion”.
Planners have also been advised that, traditionally, an arch was erected at Albert Road in Carrick, fronting the Orange Hall but during the realignment and widening of the road, “increased services” were needed in the footpath preventing the placement of the new foundations.
“To mark the Tricentenary of the landing in 1990, a new arch was designed with bases set in place using plinths set on top of the paving and was erected this way for several years,” the statement said.
“However, the time required to erect and dismantle created major difficulties in road traffic management on the town’s busiest route and it was decided to dispose of it.”
To date, an online fundraiser by Carrickfergus District Lodge Number 19 for a new arch has raised £1,570 of a target of £5,000.
Will Welsh, chair of the Arch Committee, says: “We aim to complete the arch ahead of the Twelfth July celebrations in Carrickfergus in 2024.
“The arch would then remain on display each year throughout the marching season, including the annual pageant celebrations to commemorate the landing of King William III.”
Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter