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Wednesday, 29 May, 2002, 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK
Jubilee celebrations blaze across NI
Queen in NI
The Queen visited Northern Ireland on her Jubilee tour
Beacons will be set ablaze at 13 locations across Northern Ireland as part of the celebrations for the Queen's Golden Jubilee.

Events will be held in all 26 district council areas, including firework displays, street parties, exhibitions, games and garden parties.

A sweep of beacons from Scotland, through Northern Ireland, and across the different English regions, will culminate in the Queen lighting her own National Beacon in London at 2245 BST on Monday 3 June.

Beacons were due to be lit at Portstewart in County Londonderry and Ballygowan in County Down, but have now been cancelled.

Problems over insurance meant the Portstewart beacon could not get the go-ahead, while organisers in Ballygowan felt they could not find a safe enough location.

The British army will have a beacon at its Northern Ireland headquarters at Lisburn in County Antrim.

Northern Ireland's beacon sites include:

  • Broughshane: the mayor of Ballymena will light the beacon at 2000 BST
  • Mountnorris Community Hall, County Armagh
  • Belfast: the lighting of the beacon will take place at 12 noon at Donegall Quay
  • Lisburn, County Antrim: Thiepval Barracks
  • Lisburn, County Antrim: Lagan Valley Island civic centre
  • Newry, County Down: beacon to be lit at Cloughanramer Road
  • Larne, County Antrim
  • Bangor, County Down: seafront
  • Strabane, County Tyrone: Knoackavoe Hill
  • Castlederg, County Tyrone: hilltop overlooking the town
Many of the beacons will be lit at about 2130 BST.

Organisers of the beacon lighting in Mountnorris, County Armagh, said they were praying for a week of sunshine to create the perfect conditions.

Sharon Porter of the Families in Agriculture & Rural Management (FARM) support group said the event had been organised in conjunction with Mountnorris Young Farmers' Club.

"We registered with the Royal Agricultural Benevolent Institute, which is one of the Queen's charities," she said.

We are trying to have events, not only for children, but also for older people - we want to have something for everyone

Hugh Robinson
Ballygowan committee

"Our farm group was set up quite recently and we didn't want to steal the thunder of the more established groups. But we asked about and we found that no-one was doing anything.

"It was all very last-minute and so we haven't been able to get any funding.

"Our slot for lighting the beacon is 9.30pm, because we have to have it lit for 9.40pm as the Queen will be the last person to light a beacon."

Hugh Robinson had been one of those behind plans for a beacon at Ballygowan in County Down.

However, safety fears meant the event was cancelled.

Summer party

The town's committee has now put in place a full list of events to make up for the cancellation.

"We are trying to have events, not only for children, but also for older people - we want to have something for everyone," he said.

Among dozens of other events taking place in Northern Ireland on 3 June are:

  • Broughshane, County Antrim: Northern Ireland's "biggest street party"
  • Portadown, County Armagh: Rolling back the years and street party at St Columba's Parish Church
  • Killylea, County Armagh: open air service of thanksgiving, band and fancy dress parades, vintage rally, sports events, side shows, disco, live dancing and Lambeg drumming
  • Laurelvale cricket grounds, Craigavon, County Armagh: Golden Jubilee summer party
  • Belfast: Ballyhackamore Jubilee street party at Enid Parade and Sandown Road
  • Groomsport: North Down Golden Jubilee garden party
  • Ballygowan, County Down: football, fancy dress parade, line dancing and skittles
  • Ballymoney, County Antrim: events organised by District Orange Heritage and Cultural Committee
  • Dromore, County Down: Thornhill Community Association garden party
  • Banbridge, County Down: street party at Peggy's Loaning
  • Katesbridge, County Down: garden party at Aughnacloy Road
  • Finaghy, south Belfast: Golden Jubilee street party at Geeragh Place
  • Lord Street, Belfast: street celebration and dedication of community garden to people who perished during World War 2
Northern Ireland's Golden Jubilee celebrations have been co-ordinated by the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

It produced a Golden Jubilee Celebrations Toolkit - a practical guide for planning events in Northern Ireland.

The department made two rounds of funding available for event organisers.

There were more than 600 requests for application forms, with 199 groups successful.

Almost 370,000 will go to local community groups across Northern Ireland to fund Jubilee projects.

Many of the district councils have also provided funding for projects.

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