Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna
The Christmas season is upon us once again – a time to celebrate, rest, support one another and look forward to the year ahead.
As we approach the festive season, I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone across the Borough a very happy Christmas and peaceful New Year.
I am honoured to serve as Mayor of Mid and East Antrim and delighted to have the opportunity to get out and about, and meet the wonderful communities and businesses that make this area such a fantastic place to live, work, visit and invest in.
My goal as Mayor is to make Mid and East Antrim a better place for everyone to live in and enjoy. Whether you are a young person just starting out on your journey or a family looking for a great place to call home, I am committed to working tirelessly to ensure that our community continues to thrive and grow.
It's that time of year when it is usual to reflect on the year’s activities and achievements of which I, as Mayor, am extremely proud.
Among these is Council’s continued effort to support citizens, businesses and communities across the Borough through a wide range of initiatives. From business growth programmes and key investment in town centres to community support for older people across the area, Council has been committed to supporting our businesses and residents - while continuing to deliver crucial frontline services to the people of Mid and East Antrim throughout an exceptionally challenging time.
Our much-loved events have been a great success and brought much joy to the Borough. In the summer, Camp DalFest welcomed over 16,000 people to Mid and East Antrim for a spectacular weekend of music and entertainment. Some 3,000 residents and visitors also descended on Castle Green in Carrickfergus for one of the most colourful, historical events of the year - the annual re-enactment of Schomberg’s Siege.
In the world of sport, we hosted the Clearer Water Antrim Coast Half Marathon – which saw runners from across the UK and Ireland and further afield in enjoying 13.1 miles of some of the Borough’s most breath-taking and iconic scenery.
Halloween was full of frightful fun with free events for little ones taking place in Ballymena, Carrickfergus and Larne. And the run-up to Christmas provided fun for everyone with events, light switch ons and much more.
I was also delighted to be invited to a wide range of events including the ‘Learning Disability Pride’ event which took place in Carrickfergus in June – a fabulous day of fun and festivities.
I have loved meeting many of our wonderful local business owners and retailers. I know how important Christmas is for our local traders - many have endured very challenging times over the past year - so it is essential that we all ‘shop local’ as much as we can.
Across the borough, we have so many amazing people who give their time and effort to bring cheer to those in need. Without our fantastic network of voluntary organisations, life would be so much poorer in MEA and they all deserve our support for their work in our local communities. Whilst we celebrate with friends and family, let us also remember with gratitude the dedicated staff in the public and emergency services, hospitals and care homes who will be working throughout the festivities.
Throughout the year, I have been extremely humbled by the generosity of the people, businesses and community organisations of Mid and East Antrim in supporting my nominated Mayor’s Charities – ‘This Is Me’ Dementia Friendly Choir and Women’s Aid.
In closing, I would like to thank all our dedicated Council Officers who work hard to provide the essential services. I also want to thank the people of Mid and East Antrim, who make it such a privilege to serve as First Citizen of this Borough.
Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful 2024.