TICKETS are now on sale for two of the headline events as Killyleagh hosts the main Northern Ireland part of the Great Poppy Party weekend.
The organisers have announced tickets details at the same time as revealing more information about the opening event on Friday 10th June.
Dr Eddie Rea, the chairman of the organising committee, said, “It promises to be a night of nostalgia for the more mature, and a weekend of learning and fun for the young, to mark the 90th anniversary of the foundation of the Royal British Legion and its welfare work.”
The Poppy Party will open with a talk show at the Bridge Community Centre on Friday 10th June, chaired by former TV presenter Mike Nesbitt, the newly elected Ulster Unionist MLA for Strangford. It will take the theme of `Recollections of difficult times and conflicts.”
“Veterans of various world conflicts from the past 60 years will recall their experiences. They include Sir John Gorman who took out a German Super Panther tank to win his Military Cross; Lt Col Colin Weir, just returned from Afghanistan; Col John Edward Gray, talking about Korea; Captain Doug Beattie, NI’s most recent MC, talking about Iraq; Moore Ruddock, President of Killyleagh RBL, recalling Normandy; Martin `Tina’ Charters who was a rear gunner in World Ward II and Sean Green, talking about service in Lahore.
“Saturday morning 11th June opens with two events. There is a football blitz competition at the Bridge Centre playing fields for boys and girls of primary school age. They will take on the names of war-time regiments associated with Killyleagh. Also in the morning there will be a grand reunion of British Legion members from across Ireland. We have invited Dublin RBL to play a leading role in the parade through the town. There will be a parade of Legion standards and an invitation has been extended to all RBL members to join the parade.
“After that the town’s Castle will be the base for many of the events
“The highlight is a military tattoo on Saturday night within the bawn of the Castle featuring the massed pipe bands of 2 Rifles, based at Ballykinlar, with 90 pipers and buglers. The Celtic Storm Irish dance troupe will also make an appearance at this event, which runs from 8pm to 11pm. Gates open at 6.30pm.
Tickets for the Tattoo and the talk can be purchased in advance. The Tattoo tickets cost £10, the conflict talk tickets are priced at £10 and £20 (with bangers and mash). These tickets are available from Barrett’s newsagency in Killyleagh and RBL headquarters in Belfast.
“The Tattoo promises to be another magnificent night for Killyleagh and its historic Castle. It will be a stunning setting as this Northern Ireland Tattoo puts on its version of the Edinburgh event. People attending are advised to bring their own seating.
“On the Sunday there is a cavalcade of vintage military vehicles and a children’s street party within the grounds of the castle,” added Dr Rea.
For further details, CONTACT: Dr Eddie Rea, 07802 715158