Northern Ireland news

Concerns raised about Orange lodge road signs in Co Antrim

There have been calls for the Orange Order to remove an unauthorised traffic sign near a tourist hotspot in Co Antrim.
Connla Young

THE Orange Order has been accused of taking part in a “cheap publicity stunt” after it erected a roadside warning sign near a major tourists attraction in Co Antrim.

A branch of the organsation recently put up the sign near the iconic Dark Hedges, which attracts hundreds of tourists each year.

The sign, which is on a white background, reads ‘Warning Crossroads ahead, Slow Down. Sponsored by Bushside LOL 923'.

It has been put up just yards from the junction of Bregagh Road and Gracehill Road, which is near the village of Armoy.

American tourist Michael Munro (31) from Connecticut, suffered fatal injuries in a collision in the area last September.

In a statement the Orange lodge said it “decided to take matters into its own hands after expressing frustration at the alleged lack of action by Roads Service to provide improved safety measures”.

It added that members say the measures are “necessary to help minimise the risk of further collisions, one of which claimed the life of an American tourist last September”.

A spokesperson for the Bushside Lodge WM Hugh Stewart it was “carrying out the wishes of local residents who were heart scared of seeing further accidents”.

However, SDLP assembly member John Dallat said the Orange Order should have raised the matter through official channels.

“This is a cheap publicity stunt by the Orangemen, they know well there's a process and a credible group dealing with it,” he said.

“The proper way to do this is through the official authorities with proper approval within the Road Traffic Act.

“It's nonsense to suggest nothing is being done about it."

Mr Dallat said that meetings have been held about the issue and another one is scheduled for next week and it was planned to bring the matter before Causeway Coast and Glens council.

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