200th anniversary of ‘Ulster’s Robert Burns’ commemorated

The commemoration of Orr attracted a large crowd in Ballycarry. INCT 18-701-CON
The commemoration of Orr attracted a large crowd in Ballycarry. INCT 18-701-CON

Representatives of the local community, Masonic Order and Ulster Scots groups paid tribute to the memory of James Orr, Bard of Ballycarry, on the 200th anniversary of his death.

A gathering at the Templecorran Cemetery monument to Orr was heralded by the skirl of the pipes on Sunday (April 24) afternoon, and several of his poems were read as part of the proceedings.

Members of the Redhall Masonic Lodge with Billy Thompson, representing the Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim at the event. INCT 18-702-CON

Members of the Redhall Masonic Lodge with Billy Thompson, representing the Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim at the event. INCT 18-702-CON

Local historian Dr. David Hume told those present that Orr had been foremost of the Ulster Weaver poets and the Robert Burns of Ulster.

He said that the Bard of Ballycarry had been ‘a people’s poet’ who wrote for and about his local community as well as wider themes.

Poems by Orr were read by Hazel Robertson of Ballycarry Community Association and Billy Thompson, representing the Provincial Grand Lodge of Antrim.

The event marked the 200th anniversary of the death of the weaver poet, which took place on April 24, 1816.

The wreath which was laid at the Orr Monument. INCT 18-703-CON

The wreath which was laid at the Orr Monument. INCT 18-703-CON

Piper John Fittis, Valerie Beattie, chairperson, Ballycarry Community Association, Dr. David Hume and Alderman Gregg McKeen at the Orr commemoration. INCT 18-704-CON

Piper John Fittis, Valerie Beattie, chairperson, Ballycarry Community Association, Dr. David Hume and Alderman Gregg McKeen at the Orr commemoration. INCT 18-704-CON