Anthem row erupts after charity function at hotel in Carrick

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An row erupted after a charity function at a hotel in Carrick in 1985.

Unionist councillors who had been in attendance at the charity function were left angered after the band did not play the national anthem at the end of the event.

The councillors claimed that Sammy Mackie, who had been compere for the evening, should have instructed the band to play The Queen.

Mayor of Carrickfergus, Independent Councillor Charles Johnston said: “It is normal practice for the band at the end of a social evening like this in East Antrim to play the national anthem at the close.”

At the end of the evening the Unionist representatives joined with the audience in their own rendition of the national anthem without accompaniment from the band.

Sammy Mackie said that the Mayor was unjustified in his criticism. He said: “The playing of The Queen at the end of the night had nothing to do with me. If the band were in any doubt as to whether or not to play the national anthem they should have asked the organisers of the function. I ended my stint as compere an hour before the end of the evening. I would have left the hotel but for the fact that I was waiting for a lift home.”