The protest between the hours of 7pm – 8pm on Thursday evening will almost certainly witness the blocking of roads. It creates a large measure of excitment among a small minority in the village that prides itself on being the Gateway to the Giant’s Causeway.
No other village in the North enjoys the potential that exists in Bushmills. Less than two miles from the World Heritage site and the 750,000 visitors annually, plus the oldest distillery in the world, Bushmills, which provides tours for over 120,000 individuals per annum.
Small businesses continue to attempt to improve the streetscape but face an age old battle in the village with those who put flags and emblems before community development. I have spoken with business owners in the village who are all to aware of the impact of graffitti, flags and street festooning that ensures at least 50% of people who would consider engaging the local commerce drive on and spend in another town.
Unionist Colleagues in Council continue to put the flags protest ahead of the development of the village. For 45 minutes on Monday night an argument ensued on the merit of reading aloud a statement handed to the Chairman on the need for a flag to be flown on a building some 55 miles away.
It took less time to explain that a redevelopment project of some £400,000 would fail due to a damming economic appraisal & shoddy business case for the old library in Bushmills. No fight just bitter allegations from some old Councillors who are living proof of that old adage; Wrap a donkey in a flag and the donkey will get elected.
The numbers at the protest in Bushmills will exceed the numbers in Mosside on Monday night but it will largely be the same sorry individuals bussed around to somehow fool themselves into thinking they enjoy large amounts of support. Those who work to develop the village will continue to be at the mercy of these protestors who not only enjoy the support of the local elected representitives but continue to set their agendas accordingly.