The Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor Audrey Wales MBE, has officially opened a Book of Condolence in Ballymena, following the tragic death of Northern Ireland football supporter and local resident, Darren Rodgers, in Nice this week.
The Mayor said: “The loss of such a young life during a time of great celebration for Northern Ireland is tragic.
“The people of Ballymena are deeply shocked and saddened by this news and we send our deepest sympathies to Darren’s family and friends.
“As Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, I have opened a Book of Condolence so that the local community can express their sympathies and show their support for the family circle.
“This devastating news has deeply touched the people of Northern Ireland and it’s important that we provide a forum for which people can express their sympathies. We would invite not only the local community here in Ballymena to pay tribute, but welcome those from wider Boroughs to visit and offer their condolences.
“I would also like to pay homage to all the football fans from Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland that have represented our country so well in Nice and paid poignant tributes to Darren. As ambassadors for our country in France, we are proud of the way in which the Northern Ireland fans have rallied to support Darren’s family and friends at this devastating time through their own memorials and tributes.”
Cllr. Wales added: “The thoughts and prayers of the whole community are with Darren’s family and friends at this sad time.
“The whole of Mid and East Antrim Borough offers its help and support to the family as they try to come to terms with what has happened.”
The Book of Condolence will open to the public throughout the month of June at The Braid in Ballymena from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 10am to 5pm on Saturday.