Renaming of Bushmills leisure facility approved

Councillors have voted unanimously to rename the Dundarave sports facility in Bushmills as the Bobby Greer Sports Complex, writes Gillian Anderson, Local Democracy Reporter.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 2:02 pm

Bobby, who passed away in November 2020, was well-known in the village and across the borough and has been described as an “absolute legend” and “the kindest and most caring person”.

A motion was brought by DUP Alderman Sharon McKillop who spoke of her “privilege” to have had a lifelong friendship with Bobby.

he motion read: “That this council recognises Bobby Greer and his extraordinary contribution to the Bushmills community.  Whilst Bobby was a humble and unassuming individual, his love and commitment to the entire Bushmills community was renowned and tireless. 

“Specifically, Bobby was a ‘leading light’ in the fundraising efforts and development of Bushmills United Football Club. Bobby was also instrumental in securing the football pitch at Dundarave for future generations. Furthermore, his moral and ethical characteristics were an example to all, not just in football, but as a community leader.”

McKillop said: “When the football pitch at Dundarave was under threat he stepped forward to defend the retention of it in its current location.  He was adamant that these sports facilities would remain in the location of Dundarave on the doorstep of those residing in this area.

“It was important that this green space was retained for recreation purposes, ease of access for participants of team sports and for the enjoyment of local football supporters. It was crucial also that this area continued to benefit from the social interaction with sports people and their supporters from all over the province and with little to do this pitch could potentially be considered for StatsSportNI Super Cup matches in the future.

“It was Bobby’s belief that it takes a community to raise a child, care for its young and elderly. He didn’t just personally deliver this day and daily to individuals living in the community but he instilled these values in others. “Bobby simply enriched and improved people’s lives and I believe that his dedication and contribution to his community warrants recognition by this council. 

“As a lasting legacy to Bobby, it is the desire of the whole community that these facilities are upgraded to meet the present needs of the area and be renamed the Bobby Greer Sports Complex.”

Alderman McKillop called on council to “name the Dundarave Sports Facility as the Bobby Greer Sports Complex and install appropriate signage in recognition of Bobby’s life and his commitment and contribution to Bushmills”.

The motion also called on council “To upgrade the site, officers investigate the options, with the intention of installing flood lighting at both the sports pitch and MUGA”.

UUP Alderman Joan Baird said she had “concerns” about this aspect of the motion, as did Sinn Fein Councillor Sean Bateson.

Richard Baker, Director of Leisure & Development for Causeway Coast & Glens informed members that a report will be brought back to committee focusing on the upgrade of the facilities.