Yesterday, as Chairman and Founder of the Somme Association, and as a Former Lord Mayor myself, I was pleased to welcome the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Councillor Niall Ó Donnghaile, to the Somme Museum at Whitespots, Conlig, County Down. There were many reminders there of the Irish Language, of which he is a fine exponent.
In his official Blog today he wrote:
I took a trip down memory lane today when I revisited Hope Nursery School off the Shankill Road – one of my first engagements when I became Mayor almost a year ago.
Back then I had supported their campaign to transform the grounds at their premises and I encouraged people to vote for them to win £20,000 funding through a competition.
I am thrilled for the children and their dedicated teachers and staff that they were able to use the money to push ahead with creating an outdoor play area.
Today I was able to see for myself how this new facility is really adding to the good work going on there.
As I approach the end of my term in office, I feel that the circle is being completed by making a return visit to the Shankill. I am pleased to say that I was made welcome at the time of that first visit and the warmth of welcome was just the same today.
It seems that the diary is as busy as it was a year ago, and now I am working flat out to schedule in as much as I can for the week ahead – my last week wearing the mayoral chain.
Yesterday I felt honoured to be given a special tour of the Somme Heritage Centre and spent time looking at the various exhibits and chatting with members of the Somme Association.
I was pleased that I was able to make that visit during my time as Lord Mayor and to acknowledge the role of venues such as it in representing our history.