Ulster Unionist Councillor, John Hanna, says that he is going to be a lot more ‘barefaced’ about his politics from now on.
In recent weeks the Knockiveagh councillor has been sporting an ever-growing goatee beard, and at the Council’s 40th anniversary celebrations (more on page 10) it finally came off - all in the name of charity.
“I had been growing it with the intention of seeing what it looked like,” said Councillor Hanna, “but in the end I decided to shave it off to raise money for Macmillan and Marie Curie.
“I thought the 40th anniversary celebration would be a very appropriate time to give my beard the chop, and after the political fisticuffs we had endured during the council meeting previous to the party it was a great way to lighten the mood. We had a great evening in the end.”
His UUP colleagues, Council Chairman, Olive Mercer, and Councillor Carol Black, were given the honour of having the first snip.
“There was a bit of a queue behind them,” joked Councillor Hanna.
“First the SDLP wanted a go, then Sinn Fein!
“In fairness all of my council colleagues have donated so generously, as did all the former councillors who came along to the party.
“I was even stopped by Rory Best at the Junior Sports Awards the other week and he donated £40 so I have to say a very special word of thanks to him.
“Anybody else who would like to donate is more than welcome to do so by leaving a contribution at the Civic Building. I’ll also be setting up a Just Giving page so keep an eye out for that.”
The beard had become a cause for major debate, both in the council chamber and in the Hanna household. “There was split opinion on it between the councillors. Some of them liked it and others weren’t as fussed. The most important person, however, my wife, didn’t like it so she is glad to see that back of it. On the other hand my mother-in-law had grown to like it so she’s disappointed.For me, though, I can definitely feel the chill on my face a lot more!” he added.