A popular dog show is to return to Lurgan Park next month.
County Armagh Kennel Club has been given permission by ABC Council to stage its annual dog championship there on Saturday, July 9.
Is is understood the park will remain open during the event.
ABC Council’s leisure committee was told the championship was held in Lurgan Park in June 2019, with 1,100 competitors travelling from across the British Isles.
The 2022 event will be the first time it can return to an outdoor setting due to Covid-19 restrictions.
According to a report presented to councillors, the competition is to take place in the area previously used for football and competitors will be allowed to park their vehicle at the Avenue Road gates.
Permission has also been given to allow trade stands relating to show material to sell their goods on the day, as well as catering traders to provide a service to competitors and spectators.
Sinn Fein Councillor Catherine Nelson said she was happy to propose the recommendation but queried why the event has been equality screened.
“Members will be used to me asking for equality screening but on this occasion I want to know what the basis for equality screening was,” said Councillor Nelson.
“To my mind there is equality screening when there is likely to be an impact on a section 75 group, so can I ask what basis was used to carry out the equality screening for this particular event?”
Council’s head of estates and asset management, Jonathan Hayes told the chamber the event was equality screened as there had previously been a request made by the council that all events in Lurgan Park are equality screened.
“In accordance with that request, the event was screened and an equality impact assessment was not required,” he said.
“It certainly was screened in accordance with a previous recommendation that all events are equality screened.”
Seconding the proposal to accept the recommendation, DUP group leader, Alderman Mark Baxter said Councillor Nelson should note it was one of her party colleagues, Councillor Keith Haughian, who proposed the idea that any event in Lurgan Park is equality screened.
“That is where this screening comes from and it was all agreed a while back,” he added. “Having said that I am happy to second Councillor Nelson’s proposal to accept the recommendation.”
Councillor Darryn Causby said he too was happy to support the recommendation.
“I knew Jonathan [Hayes] would take this issue by the scruff and get his teeth into it and make sure we were belt and braces about it,” he said.
Following a course of light hearted groans from the chamber, the committee’s Chair, Councillor Louise McKinstry brought the debate on the issue to a close and jokingly told Councillor Causby he is “so much better than that”.