Parks ser­vice calls for re­moval of No slo­gan

The Irish Times - - Home News - MARESE Mc­DON­AGH

Anti-abor­tion cam­paign­ers who erected a gi­ant “No” slo­gan on Ben Bul­ben mountain in Co Sligo in­sisted yes­ter­day that they had not bro­ken the law.

Those who erected the let­ter­ing de­scribed it as a “cry from the mountain to save Ire­land’s ba­bies”, and said it would re­main in place until af­ter the ref­er­en­dum on the Eighth Amend­ment.

The Na­tional Parks and Wildlife Ser­vice has called for the re­moval of the sign say­ing the in­stal­la­tion of “alien ma­te­ri­als such as this on to a spe­cial area of con­ser­va­tion is in­sen­si­tive to its con­ser­va­tion sta­tus and in­com­pat­i­ble with the habi­tat”.

“The own­ers should pro­cure its im­me­di­ate re­moval so that Ben Bul­ben is re­turned un­dam­aged to its nat­u­ral and beloved state,” it added.

Sligo County Coun­cil has con­firmed its plan­ning en­force­ment sec­tion is in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mat­ter. It has re­ceived com­plaints from, among oth­ers, the her­itage group An Taisce.

Many lo­cal peo­ple strongly crit­i­cised the erec­tion of the sign, say­ing those re­spon­si­ble had de­faced the mountain and caused em­bar­rass­ment for those try­ing to pro­mote the north­west.

But groups cam­paign­ing for a No vote lo­cally said the ac­tion re­flected frus­tra­tion over a per­ceived lack of bal­ance in the me­dia.

Tommy Banks one of those in­volved in erect­ing the slo­gan said about 20 peo­ple in­volved in the op­er­a­tion had been on the mountain from 4am yes­ter­day car­ry­ing out what he de­scribed as a “mam­moth task” .

He es­ti­mated that the let­ters were 160 feet high and said they were made from plas­tic cladding. Mr Banks said they had per­mis­sion from all the landown­ers and had been helped by “men of all ages, and women as well, down mak­ing tea and sand­wiches”.

Mr Banks told Ocean FM that the op­er­a­tion was “well planned and well ex­e­cuted” . He claimed that the Gov­ern­ment was “plan­ning to ex­e­cute the fu­ture chil­dren of Ire­land” and were were not lis­ten­ing to the peo­ple.

Fiona Can­don, pres­i­dent of Sligo Cham­ber of Com­merce ex­pressed her dis­gust at the de­vel­op­ment.

“It is ter­ri­ble that our beau­ti­ful iconic Ben Bul­ben is be­ing shown in such a light to­day”, she said. Ms Can­don said the is­sue was not whether it was Yes or No cam­paign­ers , but that the mountain was be­ing used neg­a­tively in such a way.

PHO­TO­GRAPH: JAMES CON­NOLLY

A large “NO” has been erected on Ben Bul­ben mountain in Sligo.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.