French visitors enjoy the historic Diamond Bar

French visitors with Keith Beattie at the Diamond Bar, Ballymoney.
French visitors with Keith Beattie at the Diamond Bar, Ballymoney.

The Diamond Bar, Ballymoney, recently welcomed a group of French tourists when they stopped in North Antrim during a road trip around Ireland.

The Diamond Bar dates back to c.1740 and it has the unique distinction that it hosted a celebration of Bastille Day over 200 years ago!

On July 14, 1791, a historic party was organised by a group of likeminded Ballymoney men who called themselves the “Friends of the Revolution”. Two centuries ago, their intoxicated revelry included a series of speeches and enthusiastic toasts to the “National Assembly of France, the free States of America, President Washington and equal representation of the People in Great Britain and Ireland”.

The group were welcomed by landlord Martin Doyle and local historian, Keith Beattie, told the assembled tourists the fascinating story of the Bastille Day party and other important links between Ballymoney and France.