Red ensign flown at Lagan Valley Island for Merchant Navy Day

September 3, 2021

Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council (LCCC) Mayor, Alderman Stephen Martin, has raised the Red Ensign at Lagan Valley Island to mark Merchant Navy Day.

The Mayor was joined by Sophie and Rachel McCullagh from the Lisburn Sea Cadets, Rev Colin Hall-Thompson (Senior Chaplain at Mission to Seafarers) along with elected members and officers of the council in raising the official flag of the Merchant Navy.

The Mayor, Alderman Stephen Martin, commented; “It is a privilege to lead the ceremony this year and to remember this day as a Council.

“We thank and recognise the Merchant Navy for its continued service. I’m proud that Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council is one of many Councils across the United Kingdom helping to raise awareness of our ongoing dependence on, and gratitude to the Merchant Navy seafarers.

“I would like to commemorate the invaluable contribution of the Merchant Navy during both World Wars – our Merchant Navy kept the UK afloat during both wars, risking the constant threat of attack from German U-boats as they kept supply lines to and from the UK open. Tragically over 40,000 merchant seafarers lost their lives at sea during both wars.

“I would also like to acknowledge the peacetime contributions of the Merchant Navy. As an island nation around 90% of our imported goods arrive by sea and almost half of the food on our shelves is brought to our shores by merchant seafarers.

“It is particularly important to acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic that has had a tragic impact on Merchant Navy Communities with hundreds of thousands of seafarers stranded on board or unable to join ships.”

During the ceremony, the Mayor paid tribute to the brave men and women of the Merchant Navy and read out a message from His Royal Highness the Earl of Wessex.

The flag raising was concluded with a 1 minute silence.