Armagh Lions leap back into action at Loughgall Country Park

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clint.aiken@ulstergazette.co.uk

ARMAGH Lions Club is making a gentle leap back into action on Saturday, May 7, at Loughgall Country Park after a two year absence due to the pandemic.

The signature Festival of Motorsport was unable to run during that time and consideration was given for a 2022 event when Lions meetings resumed in January.

However, with organisation taking up to a year in advance, beginning almost as soon as the previous festival ends and Lions unable to meet due to restrictions, it was felt to be just too short notice to put together the level of event supporters and participants rightly expect.

But with enthusiasm strong for everyone to reconnect, the club has decided to run a relaxing family day showcasing of motoring excellence down through the years, including vintage, classic, performance, and speciality on display and all set in the glorious Loughgall Country Park.

In addition, Show and Shine ‘Glow in the Park’ makes a welcome return for all the those determined to present their vehicles in pristine condition while competing for fantastic prizes.

The club is picking up where it was forced to leave off in 2020, working to support the groups selected then - NI Air Ambulance and Lough Neagh Rescue.

With Lions Clubs around the world having a particular association with sight issues, a third group has been added. Angel Eyes works to ensure every blind and partially sighted child and young person in Northern Ireland has equal access to everything they need to flourish.

Armagh Lions President Iain Wright said: “Like many organisations we are regrouping and preparing to move back to normality after what has been a very difficult time for so many.

“We have a tremendous relationship with Loughgall Country Park and the amazing staff who we simply cannot thank enough.

“While there will be no rally experience this year, we are remaining aligned to motoring excellence with a static display against the country park’s stunning grounds,”

He continued: “This event marks the return of Armagh Lions Club activities which we have sorely missed, although we did carry out work during the pandemic where we could by supporting food banks, St Vincent de Paul and the National Health Service.

“As we emerge from a troubling time, this fresh air, outdoor event in tranquil surroundings is ideal for all family and friends to come along for the day and enjoy time together.”

Mark Kelly of JPCC, organisers of the Show and Shine event, said: “We are looking forward to this family-friendly day with something for car enthusiasts of all ages and those who appreciate a great day out in the scenic setting of Loughgall Country Park.

“Pack a picnic, grab a camera and enjoy the scenic walks, relaxed atmosphere and cars on display, and all in the knowledge you are helping local charities and causes.”

Iain added: “Further details of the event will follow and we are once again indebted to our supporters, sponsors, Loughgall Country Park staff and the wonderful members of the public who are the reason we exist.

“Particular thanks to Mark Kelly and his JPCC team and the ever-enthusiastic Caroline McGuinness who is onboard even though there is no Rally Experience this year, which is her speciality.”

He concluded: “Join Armagh Lions as we make a gentle return to the scene in our endeavours to do what we can to support others in need. If we each do a little, we can all achieve a lot.”

For further information please contact Armagh Lions Secretary Malcolm Dawson on 028 37 or wmdawson@gmail.com

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