MEA Council seeks support for upkeep of war memorial

(file photo) County Antrim War Memorial at Knockagh.
(file photo) County Antrim War Memorial at Knockagh.

Mid and East Antrim is seeking support from neighbouring councils towards maintenance and repair of the County Antrim War Memorial.

The local government authority is the current guardian of the historic Knockagh monument, which commemorates those from the area who fell during the First and Second World Wars.

It also foots the bill for the care of the structure.

In June 2015, MEA wrote to four councils to request their support in maintaining the monument by participating in the committee.

It came after historic documents from the legacy Carrickfergus Council - who previously retained stewardship of the monument - revealed that contributions by other councils in County Antrim were agreed on a pro-rata basis based on the penny product of the council.

Lisburn and Castlereagh; Belfast; Causeway Coast and Glens, and Antrim and Newtownabbey were asked to nominate representatives to participate in the newly-formed group.

During Monday night’s meeting of the council, members heard that there had been no response to the request from both Belfast and Causeway Coast.

Meanwhile, Lisburn and Castlereagh had nominated two councillors, while Antrim and Newtownabbey volunteered three.

Alderman May Beattie and Councillor John Stewart will represent Mid and East Antrim.

A members’ report read: “A key issue remains the need for major investment at the war memorial in terms of car parking, access, maintenance and so on.”

Input may be considered from other agencies, such as the Royal British Legion, Ministry of Defence, the Reserve Forces and Cadets Association NI, along with the Historic Environment Division in the Department of Communities or the Historic Monuments Council, the report added.

MEA Chief Executive Anne Donaghy said she would write to Belfast and Causeway Coast councils again over the matter.