Ian Paisley MP was in attendance at a gala dinner at the weekend at the Royal Court Hotel in Portrush hosted by the Robert Quigg V.C. Commemoration Society. The event was the most recent of a series of fundraising events to generate the funding for a memorial statue to the Victoria Cross recipient in his home town of Bushmills.
Speaking at the event Mr Paisley commented “I am a huge supporter of the Commemoration Society and the work they do to ensure that our most gallant of heroes has a lasting memory and legacy in this area.”
In a helpful coincidence the dinner was held just days after the most recent awarding of a Victoria Cross to Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey, who is now the only living recipient of the medal after his bravery in rescuing an infantry soldier and mounting an offensive on Taliban insurgents during a mission in August 2013, eliminating 11 Taliban members in the process.
The evening was hosted by Paul Clarke MBE and had various speakers including the Society Chairman Leonard Quigg, the great nephew of Private Quigg. Mr Quigg received his award for his outstanding bravery in the First Day of the Battle of the Somme in 1916 were he saved no fewer than seven of his injured comrades in 1916.
The North Antrim MP concluded “It was an honour to be part of this wonderful event. The fact that 160 people were in attendance tonight shows the depth of feeling of gratitude in this area to Private Quigg almost 100 years after his acts of heroism in World War One. The statue will provide a lasting legacy in this town of its highest acclaimed resident. I spoke in parliament this week about exploring new ways in which we as UK citizens and indeed Members of Parliament can pay a more significant tribute to Victoria Cross recipients such as Private Quigg. I look forward with anticipation to pursuing various ways of increasing our recognition and commemoration.”