Dancing jigs and flamenco in Ballygally

Jennifer Riley of Ballygally Holiday Apartments with an Excellence in Tourism Award. Archive pic. INLT 44-363-PR
Jennifer Riley of Ballygally Holiday Apartments with an Excellence in Tourism Award. Archive pic. INLT 44-363-PR

Ballygally Holiday Apartments are set to change hands after 20 years following the retirement of owners David and Joan Magill.

Also retiring is manager Jennifer Riley whom they have thanked along with her team for “maintaining a welcoming and attractive environment”for their many guests.

Over the years, these have included Spanish flamenco dancers, dancers from Swaziland and Irish dancers who have all provided entertainment in the carpark for passers-by.

“The dancers from Swaziland were very colourful. They kept the whole village entertained for a week.

“They were visiting to take part in concerts around Ireland. They had a reception at Belfast City Hall,” Jennifer recalled.

“The Irish dancers were taking part in a world championship competition. They had dance costumes costing £10,000. They practised in the carpark. It was wonderful.”

Many guests have returned year after year, many of whom, Jennifer said, are “like family” with whom she plans to keep in touch.

She went on to say that confidence in the Northern Ireland tourism industry is growing.

“Ballygally is the first stop on the coastal route. People are wanting to see all the locations for Game of Thrones. They are wanting to see the Sallagh Braes nearby.”

Mr and Mrs Magill have thanked all their guests and service suppliers for their support over the years.

They said: “The transformation of a derelict building to luxury holiday apartments has been a source of great pride to us.

“We have greatly enjoyed welcoming so many visitors from around the world to the beautiful Antrim Coast.”

They say that they would also like to wish the new owners every success.