10 °CTue, 13

Family tradition won't be drummed out of my boys

John Hooks

Reporter:

John Hooks

Email:

john.hooks@ulstergazette.co.uk

A MARKETHILL widow with six young children has vowed to go to court before abiding by a council order preventing her sons from playing their beloved Lambeg drums whenever they want.

And a senior Ulster Unionist politician has demanded that Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council reverse their decision to restrict the Sterritt family from playing the drums at their Forest View home - a family tradition stretching back over 60 years.

Last week Kelley Sterritt received notice from the council demanding that the playing of Lambeg drums be restricted at her home to just one hour per week. The council also set the days and times when it would be acceptable for her sons to play. It's understood the local authority has received a complaint in relation to the noise of the drums.

Mrs Sterritt's solicitor has now written to the council stating she will not abide by the terms of their order despite warnings from ABC council it may take her to High Court to secure the restrictions.

"I strongly believe this is an attack on my culture and an attack on my family which has been playing Lambeg drums at this address for three generations," said Mrs Sterritt.

"My husband Richard died in 2016 and while he was alive there was never a word said but since his death the council has now tried to prevent my sons from playing. Richard taught the boys how to play the drums and it is something very important to them to keep his memory alive.

“I will not be restricting my boys by telling them when they can and can't play the drums.

"The council have shown no regard at all for my family. The restrictions are senseless.

UUP councillor Jim Speers says he is disgusted at the council's approach to this matter and has said he will support the Sterritt family in their bid to have the order overturned.

"In the same week we have the glorification of terrorists such as Mairead Farrell taking place on council property the council is writing to a widow with six young children demanding the family abides by these restrictions," said Mr Speers.

"It is completely wrong and I have already been making representations to the environmental services department. I will not let this rest until the matter is resolved and if it means going to court with Mrs Sterritt then that is what I will do.

"These young boys feel a connection to their late father Richard by playing the drums which meant so much to him. It is disgusting to think that so soon after his death someone is trying to take this away from them.

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