The Ulster Unionist Party has given its full support to Merchant Navy Day, which was celebrated on Thursday 3rd September.
Councillor William McCandless said;
“Merchant Navy Day is part of a campaign by the maritime charity Seafarers UK to commemorate the UK’s historical and ongoing dependence on Merchant Navy seafarers.
“As part of this campaign, the Red Ensign, which has been the flag of the Merchant Navy since 1854, is being flown on public buildings and landmark flagstaffs by more than 150 local authorities across the United Kingdom. The 3rd of September was chosen because that is the date when Britain and France declared War on Germany following the invasion of Poland.
“At a meeting of Causeway Coast & Glens Council in July it was agreed that the red ensign be flown at the administrative offices in Ballycastle, Ballymoney, Coleraine and Limavady.
“The Ulster Unionist Party is proud that the Causeway Coast & Glens Council could play its part in this National celebration and to support Seafarer’s UK, a charity that assists people in the maritime community by providing vital funding to support seafarers in need and their families.
“In the UK we rely on our merchant seamen for 95% of our imports, (this includes over 50% of the food we import) and 75% of our exports. Historically the Merchant Navy played a key role in ensuring the defeat of Nazi Germany in the Second World War via the North Atlantic Convoys and the Arctic Convoys and their role in the supply chain and logistics. The cost was high as over 32,000 merchant seamen lost their lives in the War, a death rate that was higher proportionately than any branch of the armed forces.
“It is only right and proper that their efforts then and the tremendous job they do currently are recognised and the Ulster Unionist Party is proud that the Causeway Coast & Glens Council was able to play its part in supporting Merchant Navy Day.”