Armagh Food and Cider Weekend axed due to strike action

Armagh Food and Cider Weekend axed due to strike action

The annual Armagh Food and Cider Weekend has been cancelled, with strike action by council workers blamed or the decision.

The Orchard County was due to host the event between September 8 and 11, with artisan markets, tasting menus and cider tours all planned.

Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council has now confirmed the event will not take place.

Helen Troughton from the Armagh Cider Company and Art O’Hagan, who chairs the Armagh city centre management group, told of their disappointment at the news.

Ms Troughton told the BBC’s Evening Extra: “It’s a shame that it’s not happening

“Rather than let us try and fend for ourselves (the council) have decided to pull the event, which I can understand too because some producers need more than others and it’s only fair that everyone’s hit by it.”

With many visitors having already booked accommodation in Armagh, she said her business would still be running an open day over the weekend.

“There will be no charge to get in, because in these times before winter sets in, come on, let’s have a decent day out.”

Mr O’Hagan said he was also very disappointed to see the festival pulled “at the eleventh hour”, with a letter from the council to traders  saying the  decision was made “with great regret” because of strike action and resultant staff shortages.

Four weeks of strike action for workers with ABC council started on August 15, with members of NIPSA, GMB and Unite the Union taking part.

The action is causing major problems across the borough, with some complaining about a rise in flytipping because bins are not being collected.