‘We go wherever we’re needed’ - club

Gordon McIlwaine, president of Northern Ireland Landrover Club, presents a cheque to Morina Clark of Epilepsy Action NI at the club's AGM in Knockagh Lodge.  Epilepsy Action were the group's nominated charity for 2014.  INCT 06-732-CON
Gordon McIlwaine, president of Northern Ireland Landrover Club, presents a cheque to Morina Clark of Epilepsy Action NI at the club's AGM in Knockagh Lodge. Epilepsy Action were the group's nominated charity for 2014. INCT 06-732-CON

A vehicle enthusiasts’ club with roots in Greenisland has told of its role in providing emergency response across the province.

The Northern Ireland Landrovers Club meets once a month at the Knockagh Lodge in the borough.

Formed in 1996, the club draws almost half of its 100-stong membership from the east Antrim area, including Jordanstown, Greenisland, Carrick, Larne and Ballyclare.

With regular shows and displays throughout the year, the group is also known for its offshoot network, Northern Ireland 4x4 Response.

The network sees members provide assistance in the multi-terrain vehicles during a range of emergency situations, such as heavy snowfall or flooding.

Club chairman Barry Dalzell explained: “We cover the whole province and will go wherever we’re needed; recently we were in Omagh helping to distribute bottled water due to the water shortage.

“We also helped the mountain rescue team in Carnlough about six months ago; they had gotten into difficulties when one of their vehicles broke down. I’ve even had a call-out at one time to go and help a nurse in Castlederg who was snowed in and couldn’t leave her house.”

The network also provides emergency cover for mountainous regions, particularly areas such as the Mournes where hill-walking is common.

Barry added: “We have calls throughout the year to try and encourage members of the club to sign up to the network.”

The group also takes part in a number of fundraising initiatives, choosing a designated charity each year.

“Last year one of our members suggested Epilepsy Action NI; we raised over £1200 for the charity and then added £800 to that ourselves,” Barry said.

A cheque for £2000 was presented to the charity at the club’s AGM in the Knockagh Lodge on Monday evening. Thanking the group for their efforts was Morina Clarke, Northern Ireland manager of Epilepsy Action. “The money raised will go towards promoting awareness and will make a huge difference to the 20,000 people in Northern Ireland living with epilepsy,” Morina said. “We were very grateful to be nominated.”