No big screens for NI’s Euro matches

Causeway Coast and Glens Council has voted NOT to erect large screens in the four main towns of the Borough to show the Northern Ireland football team’s European Championship matches.

It had been suggested that Council investigate the cost of erecting screens in Ballymoney, Limavady, Ballycastle and Coleraine for the matches in June.

At Tuesday’s meeting of Council’s Policy and Resources Committee, members were told that the cost to show the group stages would be £65,537 and the price of the full tournament £94,897.

The costs related to four screens, their delivery and collection, installation and technician/security on site for the duration, insurance, PA system and set down and removal.

Cllr Stephanie Quigley said that while she didn’t want to ‘bah humbug’ the idea, it was an “exorbitant anount of money” for something which “could be a wash out if it’s a night like tonight”, she said referring to the heavy rain outside.

She added that most people now have satellite TV to watch matches like this.

Cllr Darryl Wilson said that while “on paper it was a fantastic idea, the cost has escalated greatly.” He added that in the present economic climate, it was just “far too expensive”. He noted that Mid and East Antrim Council are placing screens in some community centres and town halls at a fraction of the price but conceded that it was probably too late to look at that suggestion.

Cllr Brenda Chivers said that it would be a “total waste of money” and said that local businesses had to be considered in the mix too.

“Most people have massive TV screens at home now or will be going to their local pub to watch the matches. It would be ridiculous to support this,” she said.

Mayor Cllr Michelle Knight-McQuillan agreed that it was right not to take trade away from local businesses.

She said that a permanent playpark could come in at around the same price of £70,000 and would be “better spent on something lasting”.