Ballymoney councillors have praised the initiative of a local businessman who is using the Giro d’Italia cycle race promote the story of the Great McDonnell Chieftain, Sorley Boy McDonnell.
When the race comes to the North Coast on May 10, Sheans Horse Farm and Heritage Centre near Loughgiel, along with other interest groups, will stage themed promotional events along the Causeway coastal route in conjuntion with the race.
Mr Danny McKinley from Sheans Horse Farm and Heritage Centre says he has gained support from The Clan Donald Centre from the Isle of Skye to co-ordinate the event.
His efforts as well as all others involved have drawn support from the Council. Alderman Bill Kennedy, Chair of Ballymoney Development Committee said: “The Giro is the biggest sporting event ever to come to this area and the response has been fantastic. Mr McKinley has gone the extra mile and will give the race a spectacular appeal. What is also good about his efforts is that he is using the race to promote a very important passage of history on our doorstep at his heritage centre. We are delighted at the growth of this unique tourism business in our area and congratulate Danny on his initiative and enthusiasm” the Alderman enthused.
During a rehearsal at Dunluce Castle, an amateur video of a pink horse with Hector McDonnell on board attracted 1200 views on one day when it appeared on the Sheans Horse Farm Facebook. Danny has expanded his Business offer at Sheans, where the famous battle site is based. There is now a varied activities offer for visitors and he is attracting tour buses.