Go ahead for KK McArthur Plaque

BALLYMONEY Borough Council has agreed to support, in principle, the funding of the Ulster History Circle Blue Plaque, commemorating KK McArthur.

During a recent meeting, members heard that £800 would be granted by Council and the plaque would hopefully be in place before the Dervock Half Marathon in June.

The issue was raised during the Leisure and Amenities Committee meeting, the report explained: ‘The inaugural meeting of the Dervock 2012 Initiative: Joint Working Group took place on 23rd February 2011 at Riada House. It is recommended that Committee adopt the minutes of the Dervock 2012 Joint Working Group; and Further consider the funding of a `Blue Plaque’ commemorating KK McArthur and make a recommendation to Council.

‘Referring to the Joint Working Group minutes Alderman James Simpson stated that 1) he was unaware that £500,000 had been set aside for Community Facilities, and 2) that he had thought Capital Projects needed to undergo an economic appraisal from the Department before a loan could be sanctioned.

‘Alderman Simpson also raised concern that Council was setting a precedent by providing administrative services to the Joint Working Group. He also queried the status of the committee and its Terms of Reference.

‘Cllr John Finlay replied that the Joint Working Group was to move projects forward for Dervock. Alderman Frank Campbell and Alderman Harry Connolly concurred with Cllr Finlay’s comments.

‘It was agreed that Alderman Simpson will obtain further information from the Director of Borough Services as to what the Terms of Reference are for the Joint working Group. Meanwhile Alderman Campbell asked Alderman Simpson to raise it at the Council meeting.’

At the meeting Cllr Evelyne Robinson sought clarification on Minute Reference 1.6, (23rd February 2011) McArthur Blue Plaque, whether the decision included a recommendation from the Joint Working Group that Council will acquire the Blue Plaque and if there was a budget for it?

Cllr Robinson quoted from a letter from the Ulster History Circle and queried whether members were content with the conditions laid down by the Ulster History Circle?

In response Alderman Campbell stated that he was happy to support it providing Council have some say where the plaque is erected. It was proposed by Cllr Robinson, seconded by Councillor McCamphill and agreed that Council support, in principle, the funding of the Ulster History Circle Blue Plaque, commemorating KK McArthur.

However during last week’s Full Council meeting, Alderman Simpson raised the issue again calling for clarification as to the cost and placing of the plaque.

Outlining what was already stated previously, Cllr Bill Kennedy stated: “It’s already been mentioned that the plaque is to go on the wall. I also thought funding had been sorted?”

Director John Michael disclosed that Council had agreed to give £800. He continued: “The preferred location, as discussed, was on the wall as it was a focal point. If money can be raised for a sculpture then that would also be the location.

“It is hoped that the Blue Plaque would come in the current year and before the June event of the Half Marathon.”