Kearney welcomes revival of historic Toome Fair
Sinn Féin National Chairperson and South Antrim Westminster candidate, Declan Kearney has warmly welcomed the new efforts to revive Toome Fair.
Speaking in the area last week, Mr. Kearney commended the Fair's organisers for their hard work and commitment.
“I am delighted that due to the determination and vision shown by dedicated local people, Toome Fair is now emerging from a period of uncertainty with a renewed sense of purpose. This historic fair, once regarded as ‘the oldest horse fair in Ireland’, has been part of the village heritage for generations. I, like many others, have happy childhood, and older memories, of Toome Fair.
“For many local families the Easter break was previously synonymous with the Fair. An Easter Monday or Tuesday would never have been complete without a visit to some aspect of the Fair; whether that was a walk around stalls, or a "go" on the "bumping cars" or swings.
“I hope that this year’s programme, alongside the hard work and the ambition of the local committee will translate into a solid foundation from which to put the long term future of the Fair on a sustainable footing. The success of the Fair on Easter Monday has only emerged because of huge effort and work undertaken behind the scenes and over a lengthy period. So I warmly congratulate the organising committee on the programme which it has delivered.
“Initiatives like Toome Fair have the potential to bring significant added value to local cultural tourism. It is an obvious element of an integrated community economic regeneration strategy for the Toome area. This type of forward thinking now must find practical expression in the outcomes of the community planning process currently being undertaken by the new Antrim and Newtownabbey Council; and lead to the targeting of new investment and resources into the area to support the progress which has already been made.
“Sinn Féin fully supports the revival of Toome Fair, and will continue to assist the work of the local committee. I look forward to this year’s success re-establishing the reputation of Toome Fair as the landmark local Easter carnival event it previously enjoyed, and as a source of much enjoyment for local families”. ENDS/CRÍOCH