Swann calls to speed up UDR Memorial process

Robin Swann of the UUP hands in his election papers to Deputy Returning Officer Rea Kirk at the Ballymena Area Electoral Office last week. Included are local councillors and Election Agent Roy McLean. INBT 16-100JC
Robin Swann of the UUP hands in his election papers to Deputy Returning Officer Rea Kirk at the Ballymena Area Electoral Office last week. Included are local councillors and Election Agent Roy McLean. INBT 16-100JC

Robin Swann, the Ulster Unionist Party Assemblyman and a Westminster candidate for North Antrim has called on the new Mid and East Antrim super council ‘to speed up the process of provdiding a memorial to the Ulster Defence Regiment in Ballymena.’

Assemblyman Swann issued his appeal to the new council – which took over responsibility for the delivery of services on April 1 – after writing to the Mid and East Antrim Chief Executive Anne Donaghy. He said: “While I welcome the fact that the new Mid and East Antrim Council has secured the Armed Forces Day celebrations, the ex-service community in Ballymena has been dismayed at the delay over the erection of both a memorial to the UDR and the war memorial in Kells.

“For far too long, Ballymena Borough Council found itself trapped in the ridiculous process which denied those who have served in the Ulster Defence Regiment a memorial in the Memorial Park. This process has also prevented the timely erection of a War Memorial in Kells.

“I was honoured to join members of both councils at the launch of the Armed Forces Day programme, but it would be a travesty if having the vision to celebrate the armed forces, the new council continues the deny our ex-service personnel and communities the right to commemorate those who served. We must never forget that we enjoy the values of modern democracy because of the sacrifice of others in the wars and those in the UDR who defended our nation from the ravages of terrorism,” said Assemblyman Swann.