Mr Robin Swann, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assemblyman and Chairman of the Stormont Public Accounts Committee, has “warmly welcomed” the announcement from Stormont’s Finance Minister Mairtin O Muilleoir that pigeon clubs will now receive rates relief the same as other sporting venues.
Assemblyman Swann, the UUP Chief Whip and North Antrim UUP Chairman, and his former North Down UUP Assembly colleague Leslie Cree had won the debate on amending the Rate Regulations in the previous mandate, “but a number of legal obstacles had presented themselves in allowing the relief to come about”.
The announcement came after Mr Swann invited the Minister to visit a Pigeon Club in his constituency so he could see and hear at first-hand what was involved in the sport.
Mr Swann said: “There are many puns that can and have been made about this campaign, but this confirmation is a real ‘coo’, with the birds finally coming home to roost!
“The announcement will see clubs that are for the sole purpose of pigeon racing receive an 80% rebate, but the next step will be to obtain 100% rate relief. However, at this stage a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush!” said Assemblyman Swann.