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Councillors allow Duffy’s Circus to use Newtownabbey site

A return to Antrim and Newtownabbey by Duffy’s Circus was welcomed at a recent meeting of the borough council.

Duffy’s Circus was granted permission unopposed by the local authority to pitch its ‘big top’ at Jordanstown Loughshore Park this month.

Councillors were told that the circus owners have confirmed that there will be no animals included.

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They are required to pay a bond of £1,000 per site in lieu of any damage to the council-owned site plus booking charges.

Jordanstown Loughshore. (Pic by Google).

In 2018, there were objections in the council chamber to a request by Tom Duffy’s Circus to use the site by councillors opposed to the use of animals for entertainment.

However, the majority of members backed the recommendation to allow the circus to use the Newtownabbey location.

In April 2019, the council also granted a request by Tom Duffy’s Circus to hold a circus at this venue and for Circus Vegas to hold its show at V36 in Newtownabbey after 16 members voted in favour with 12 against and four abstentions.

Speaking at the recent meeting, Antrim Alliance Councillor Neil Kelly, who has voiced opposition and protested against animal circus acts previously, said: “I am very pleased to see this in front of us this evening, particularly the line around no animal acts.

“I want to commend Duffy’s on that. I wish people to turn up in their hordes.”

Cllr Kelly went on to say he was “more than happy” to recommend that the council accepts the officer’s recommendation to grant permission to Tom Duffy’s Circus to hold a circus at Jordanstown Loughshore Park between June 13 and June 19 and wished them luck.

His proposal was seconded by Macedon Ulster Unionist Councillor Robert Foster.

Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter