Organisers promise all day darts match is not an 'Orange Lodge Trojan Horse'

An under fire hall with links to the Orange Lodge was given the go ahead to hold an all day darts match despite a neighbour's objections.

Members of Falkirk Council’s licensing board agreed to grant an occasional licence for the Brian Clark Memorial Hall, in Burnside Terrace, Camelon, to stage the event, which runs from noon until 11.30pm on Saturday, May 5.

Allyson Black, acting convener of the board after both Councillors Jim Kerr and John McLuckie declared an interest in the application, adjourned the meeting for half-an-hour so members could discuss it.

The hall got its licence with the condition that food is made available, two door stewards are put in place, no music would be played and the venue’s new windows would remain closed throughout.

Earlier, a Burnside Terrace resident told Councillor Black and the board his concerns about the event.

He stated: “They have regular Monday night darts competitions and I have not made any objections to any of those events, however, this current application is a step too far. The extended hours being asked for stretch from midday to almost midnight.

“I believe it’s a bit of Trojan Horse for an Orange Lodge event. The Orange Lodge marching season is just beginning and the football season is reaching its climax and, when mixed with alcohol, this makes for a toxic cocktail.”

A representative of the hall stated the event was simply a darts match open to men and women of all faiths and had nothing to do with the Orange Lodge.

He guaranteed no more than 60 people – all darts players – would be attending the event and there would be no music and “no flutes and drums” present.

He added, after the events of last year, the hall has been forced to diversify and hold events like this to raise funds to make the improvements the board has asked them to make.

The board heard there were no objections against the application from police.

Last November a planned flute band and disco charity night at the hall, which has been branded a noise nuisance, suffered a major setback when the board refused its application to sell alcohol.

At the time it was stated the Brian Clark Memorial Hall had produced a “consistently loud” and “unacceptable” level of noise at an event on Saturday, November 11, which the board had granted an occasional licence for.

An environmental health officer, who was monitoring the noise levels from a neighbouring property between 6.30pm and 12.45am, also stated he heard a UVF song being sung at one stage.

The licensing board agreed to refuse the application for an occasional licence for the charity event, which was due to take place on December 9, on the grounds of public nuisance, the nature of the activities and the “persons likely to frequent the premises”.

In March 2017, the licensing board refused a bid for a premises licence for the hall which would effectively have allowed it to operate as a pub.