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Should Portrush club cut ties?... what locals say


Ronnie McKinley

Ronnie McKinley

Freddie Parkinson

Edward Williamson

Edward Williamson

Freddie Parkinson


Ronnie McKinley

In Portrush yesterday, people were taking the same "wait and see" approach adopted by the local golf club.

Royal Portrush is one of three in Northern Ireland that have Prince Andrew as their patron.

The majority of people strolling along the North Coast town declined to voice their opinion on the record on either Prince Andrew's controversial interview, his friendship with convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein or his decision to step away for the foreseeable future from his royal duties.

For those who did, though, the general consensus was innocent until proven guilty.

Susanna McLoughlin suggested the prince would have been better advised not to have agreed to be interviewed at all.

She said: "I feel he should still be the patron of Royal Portrush because he will bring a lot of money and prestige to the club.

"I am a royalist and I feel that the interview he did on television was not a good one. I felt he should have kept his head down and said nothing.

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"The royals always get bad press but I think all this will blow over and I think the golf club should not disassociate themselves with him.

"I think in about six months' time, this will be old news. His ex-wife (Sarah Ferguson) has had a few indiscretions that have all been forgotten about now, there was Charles and Camilla and all that, and there's not a word about them now.

"So saying nothing would have been the thing for him to do."

Ronnie McKinley believes the prince "has got himself in a terrible position".

He added: "I haven't made my mind up what the right thing would be for the golf club to do.

"There are other clubs in Northern Ireland that he is patron of too.

"The person I feel pity for is the Queen."

Edward Williamson, although not a fan of the Royal family per se, said the golf club had made the right decision.

He said: "I don't really stand by the royals but what they do is their own business.

"I do agree with the golf club in that it is right to wait and see.

"That is Royal Portrush and being able to stay royal is what is important - they won't want to give that up."

George Cromie said it was probably right not to rush to make a decision. He said: "Obviously there has been a bit of controversy over the past few years with this association with Jeffrey Epstein, but a man is innocent until proven guilty.

"I know a lot of organisations have already distanced themselves and that is up to them, but I think Royal Portrush is probably taking the right approach by waiting and seeing how it all ends.

"The finger was pointed at other people in the past, who were proved innocent, so I think wait and see."

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