New Glarryford Farmers’ Hall is open for business

Ernest O'Hara BEM, Stephen Connolly Education Authority and James Gregg
Ernest O'Hara BEM, Stephen Connolly Education Authority and James Gregg

Following a complete rebuild of Glarryford Farmers’ Hall, it is open for business and ready for a busy programme of events this autumn and winter.

Glarryford Young Farmers’ Club has been the core users of the facilities for several decades and in support and recognition of its many educational and social activities, funding was obtained under the Youth Capital Funding Scheme from the Department of Education to assist with the capital spend.

YFC and Hall committee members with V Chestnutt UFU, Peter Alexander YFC and Ernest O'Hara BEM

YFC and Hall committee members with V Chestnutt UFU, Peter Alexander YFC and Ernest O'Hara BEM

This project was also part funded under Priority 6 (LEADER) of the Northern Ireland Rural Development Programme 2014-2020 by the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs and the European Union. The Energia Long Mountain Community Benefit Fund and Mid and East Antrim Council also assisted with funding of equipment. The Trustees and community are grateful for all of this help which ensured the end result is a modern, comfortable hall with excellent facilities.

At the formal opening of the hall on Thursday, August 8, representatives from the key funders and those involved with the project management gathered with YFC members and friends to see Ernest O’Hara BEM cut the ribbon and officially declare the hall open. He was assisted by the two youngest YFC members, Annie Gilliland and Daniel Gregg. Ernest has a long standing connection with the hall and the local community and is the current Patron of Glarryford YFC. He was joined on stage by chairman Mervyn Dickey, Lady Mayor Maureen Morrow, Stephen Connolly from the Education Authority, Joe Curran from Maurice Cushnie Architects, UFU Deputy President Victor Chestnutt UFU and YFC Deputy President Peter Alexander. Everyone congratulated the community on their new hall and encouraged the young people and other users to make use of the excellent facilities.

Grace was said by Rev McMillan from Clough Presbyterian Church and, after a fabulous supper served by Jane’s Kitchen, guests were entertained by James Gregg who gave an account of the YFC through the decades based on his own family history. A vote of thanks was proposed by YFC Club Leader Thomas Compton and gifts were presented by YFC Secretary Cathy Reid to caretakers William and Sadie Anderson who are retiring after a long and dedicated service to the community.

A few days later the hall was open for all the community to pop in and take a look and also enjoy a barbecue lunch prepared by the YFC members.

The new hall was built by Lowry Construction Ltd, has a fixed stage and excellent sound, lighting and AV system installed by Absolute Technologies. Of particular note are the excellent disabled facilities including a lift to the rear of the stage which ensures disabled access to the stage.

The Trustees of Glarryford Farmers’ Hall are grateful to everyone who contributed in any way to this rebuild project including those who fundraised, funders, those who worked on the project, family, friends and members of the wider community for their support. If anyone would like further information contact the secretary Gillian on 07736233703.