‘Rich tapestry’ of council life recalled

Jim Brown. INCT 44-462-RM
Jim Brown. INCT 44-462-RM

The ‘rich tapestry’ of life in Carrickfergus Borough Council has been recalled as the local authority officially came to an end this week.

The council has merged with neighbouring boroughs of Larne and Ballymena to become the new Mid and East Antrim authority.

Alderman Jim Brown, who after 35 years was the longest serving member of Carrickfergus Borough Council, is one of the six members joining MEA.

“One of the biggest meetings I remember was in the late 80s around the time of the harbour dispute,” Ald Brown recalled. “It was over the whole issue of turning the seafront from a commercial harbour into the marina, and fears that jobs would be lost - although I argued at the time that more jobs would be created with the development of the marina.

“Because of the massive public interest, there were hundreds who came to the meeting and we had to move it to the Jubilee Hall.”

A series of protests around the time of the Anglo-Irish Agreement (1985) also impacted the normal business of the chamber, Ald Brown said.

“In the early 2000s, we again had to relocate a council meeting to the Jubilee Hall. This was due to the plans to redevelop the leisure centre and once more there was concern about the future of jobs,” he added.

“There is a saying that the history of Carrick is the history of Ulster writ small. I have seen the rich tapestry of life through Carrickfergus Borough Council and I have enjoyed every minute of it.”