Funding first for Scarva sham fight

editorial image

The Sham Fight at Scarva, held annually on July 13, is to receive public tourism funding for the first time in its history.

It is understood that a grant in the region of £20,000 has been agreed by the Department of Enterprise Trade and Investment.

The move has been welcomed by Ulster Unionist representatives Jo-Anne Dobson MLA and Councillor Glenn Barr, who said the event is the province’s largest single day tourism event.

Mrs Dobson commended the hard work of the Sham Fight Committee in their co-ordination of the sham fight over decades without any public funding.

She said, “I have consistently raised with Minister Foster the total failure of her department to support Scarva and commend Mark Hillis for his tireless efforts on behalf of everyone at RBP 1000 – work which has resulted in this eventual and welcome announcement.

“I’m glad that the principle of providing funding to the Sham Fight Committee has now been agreed and look forward to additional funding being provided to what is our top local tourism event – it’s a long time coming but a welcome announcement.

“For many months I have been highlighting the unacceptably small amount of funding being provided from the tourism minister’s department to Upper Bann and will continue to lobby the minister on behalf of Scarva and also tourism across the local area.”

Mr Barr said, “I will be using my position as a councillor to raise the issue of support for the Royal Black and Orange Institutions from the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

“My goal is to ensure that supporting our cultural and historical heritage are high on the agenda at council and will be working tirelessly to ensure funding is made available in the future.”