Belfast Telegraph

SF unease at council’s £20k spend on Jubilee

The Queen would not approve of a Northern Irish council’s plan to splash out £20,000 to celebrate her Diamond Jubilee, a Sinn Fein councillor has said.

Cathal McLaughlin was speaking after Ballymoney Borough Council passed proposals to mark the historic anniversary.

Events planned include exhibitions, a historic walk and talk, sport, art, film and music events, a ‘community celebration lunch’, garden party, tree planting, civic service and Jubilee beacon.

The draft programme of events was approved at an estimated cost of £20,000. A proposal that the council reserves two tables at the Co Antrim dinner, at a cost of £500 per table, was also passed.

Sinn Fein’s Philip McGuigan hit out at the costs involved.

He said: “We are in an economic climate where every penny counts and I don’t think this is value for money.”

Mr McLaughlin added: “I am not criticising what the event is for. People are entitled to celebrate their culture.”

But he added that given the current financial climate, he was “sure the Queen herself wouldn’t give this her blessing”.

He said he had “a lot of admiration for the woman” following her 2011 visit to the Republic.

Belfast Telegraph

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