Braid booze row!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

MID and East Antrim councillors were last week split over plans to obtain a full liquor license for the Braid Town Hall, where the late North Antrim MP, the Rev. Ian Paisley, once described alcohol as the "devil's buttermilk!"
The Council plans to develop the Braid as a conference facility and, after a recorded vote, agreed to lodge an application to the County Court for a drinks license.
However, on the recorded vote, more than a quarter of councillors opposed the move.
There were 44 events with bar facilities during the year ending 2015/16 and 46 events with bar facilities for 2016/17.
A council report states that the 1,175 per annum cost of a licence would allow council to secure, for the incoming year, 40 events with an income of approximately 22,000.
Alliance alderman, Gerardine Mulvenna, proposed that council approve the recommendation, which was seconded by Independent councillor, James Henry.
Although councillor Mulvenna was recorded as not having voted, she later confirmed to the Guardian that she had voted for her own proposal and intends having the record amended at November's full council meeting.
On that basis, the proposal was passed with 22 members in favour, 11 against and one abstention.
Independent councillor, Jim Brown, was scathing in his criticism, saying the council had more important issues to deal with than "turning the Braid into a drinking den."
He added he could remember as a boy "being brought to this hall in Ballymena town centre to hear Dr Ian Paisley speak about the devil's buttermilk."
Cllr. Brown added that he would be "deeply disappointed if the party that Dr Paisley founded was to open the floodgates and pour the buttermilk on to the streets of Ballymena."
*Read the full story in this week's Ballymena Guardian.


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