The contribution of a Carrickfergus-born mathematician has been marked with a commemorative blue plaque in the borough.
The Ulster History Circle unveiled the plaque at Carrickfergus library on Joymount Court last Thursday morning.
The location was chosen to increase the blue plaque’s visibility among tourists, according to the UHC’s Maud Hamill. “The placement of the plaques depends on a few things, such as who has funded it,” she added. “In this case, Robert Adrain was a well-known figure in the United States and the plaque has been placed quite close to the castle, where we would get a lot of American tourists.
“It also dependent on whether or not that person’s home place is still standing; Robert Adrain was born in the townlands of Carrick and his original homestead was actually near Templecorran.”
Speaking at the unveiling, Ulster History Circle chairman Chris Spurr said: “Since the early 1980s, the UHC has put up more than 170 blue plaques all over Northern Ireland and one in County Donegal to celebrate the achievements of those men and women who contributed significantly to our history. We are an entirely voluntary organisation and rely on the support of the local authorities, individuals and organisations that fund the plaques.
“This plaque joins the ones we already have here in Carrickfergus. The soldier and Yeoman warder, Daniel Cambridge VC is on High Street; another Victoria Cross recipient, James Bell Crichton, is on the Woodburn Road; and the shipbuilder Paul Rodgers is on the Belfast Road.
“We are delighted to honour Robert Adrain’s achievements with this blue plaque and I think Carrick Library is an appropriate place to commemorate this scholar.”
Also attending the ceremony were representatives from the Ulster Scots Agency, who funded the plaque. “The contribution of people like Adrain and others like Jemmy Hope in Mallusk is something that is worthy of our attention,” said the Agency’s Ian Crozier.