Ulster Unionist councilors have brought forward a Notice of Motion to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council calling for an Armed Forces Day event to be held in the district.
The motion - proposed by Councillor Glenn Barr and seconded by Julie Flaherty - reads: “This Council accepts that Armed Forces Day (AFD) has become a permanent and important date in the calendar for many within our society and across both communities; whilst being sensitive to those who may not wish to celebrate AFD that this Council registers its interest with RFCA NI to bring AFD to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.”
Speaking about bringing forward the motion, Cllr. Barr said: “2018 will see Armed Forces Day celebrate 10 years of supporting the Armed Forces Community, from serving personnel and reserves to veterans, cadets and families.
“Here in Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough council we aren’t strangers to hosting high profile, large-scale outdoor events and it’s important never to underestimate the value of being culturally ambitious.”
Cllr. Barr said that hosting the likes of Armed Forces Day will “bring more people into the Borough, which in turn boosts the local economy as money is spent in areas such as retail”.
“And then of course there is the pride and feel-good factor felt by people who live and work in the borough – it would be a coup for their home Borough to stage an event of this calibre and the positive response this generates is priceless,” Cllr. Barr said.
He added: “My personal preference would be Banbridge [to host] however, I am open to ideas.
“The Ulster Unionist Party recognises the sensitivities surrounding such a bid, this has not been brought forward to offend anyone, but purely for tourism and support.
“I am delighted that the council supported this motion, and I hope that the council can make a successful bid to host Armed Forces Day in the future.”