US Consul General discusses economy and heritage in Carrick

US Consul General Daniel Lawton (right) is welcomed to the Andrew Jackson Cottage by (from left) Graham Walton, tour guide, MEA Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe and Shirin Murphy,  Museums officer. INCT 22-701-CON

US Consul General Daniel Lawton (right) is welcomed to the Andrew Jackson Cottage by (from left) Graham Walton, tour guide, MEA Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe and Shirin Murphy, Museums officer. INCT 22-701-CON

Economic growth and regeneration were raised with the US Consul General during a visit to Carrickfergus on Wednesday (June 1).

Daniel Lawton was hosted for breakfast in the Town Hall by the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Billy Ashe.

Cllr Ashe said: “This was an opportunity to meet with myself and other councillors and alderman and with our director of Economic Growth, Regeneration and Tourism, Linda Williams to provide an overview of these issues in the borough.”

Earlier this year, the first citizen attended the annual reception hosted by the Northern Ireland Bureau and attended by a network of business leaders and members of the US Congress in Washington DC. It followed a number of major job loss announcements in the MEA manufacturing sector.

On Wednesday, the visiting party also toured the Andrew Jackson Cottage and US Rangers Centre. The Boneybefore location tells the story of the seventh President of the USA, whose parents emigrated from Carrickfergus in 1765.

Mr Ashe added: “Beside the Jackson Cottage is an exhibition centre dedicated to the US Rangers, the elite American army regiment. Formed in 1942, the US Rangers was both raised and then based in Carrickfergus during World War II, in preparation for the D-Day landings in particular,” Cllr Ashe added.

The Consul General met Shirin Murphy, the council’s Museums officer and Graham Walton, tour guide.

Mr Lawton said: “I was very pleased to have paid an official visit to Carrickfergus to learn more about the town’s rich heritage and its profoundly important contribution to United States’ history.

“Our seventh President, Andrew Jackson left a permanent imprint on American politics and the presidency, and he remains one of the most studied Americans of the 19th Century.

“The US Rangers, whose elite battalions were first activated in Carrickfergus in 1942, reflect the strength and longevity of our shared history.”