The Ultoniae Cultural & Heritage Society recenly held an event to create a platform for local people and others to inquire with invited panelists on a number of concerns and issues.
This ‘Question Time’ event represented the voice of ‘Radical’ unionism, namely: Kenny Blair UPRG and former DUP elected representative on the old Ballymoney Council; Russell Watton PUP and current Councillor on the new Causeway Coast and Glen Council; Timmy Gaston TUV, and current Deputy Lord Mayor of Mid & East Antrim Council
Mervyn Gibson Orange Order Grand Sovereign.
As panelists they had been invited to share their views and respond to audience generated questions and as Chair, Martin Snoddon got the event underway, each panel member responded to the questions.
Next year’s centenary commemorations of the Easter Rising and the Battle of the Somme were mentioned and it was thought that a disparity exists in that the Easter Rising is being heavily funded by the southern government and attendees were not aware of any major funding equivalent being offered for commemorating the blood sacrifice of the Battle of the Somme. Disappointment, anger and frustration was very evident at this inequality. Some believed that the unionist community needs to develop its understanding of the republican movement if they are ever going to anticipate and strategically challenge their trajectory towards a united Ireland.
The evening was a success for Ultoniae Cultural & Heritage Society. They had a good turn out of attendees, a broad panel of representatives and facilitated engagement between the two on issues that are not simply topical but loaded with emotion.
Frankie Cunningham (Project Coordinator) said: “I must record my thanks to Martin Snoddon for chairing the event which was supported by Ultoniae Cultural & Heritage Society through the PIP initiative, funded by the ‘International Fund for Ireland’.