Councils spent £23k to fix damaged Irish signs

Councils in Northern Ireland have spent nearly £23,000 repairing and replacing vandalised bilingual signs in the last five years.

By The Newsroom
Monday, 30th December 2019, 4:04 pm
One of the damaged signs
One of the damaged signs

Signs used by several local authorities have displayed messages in both English and Irish but these have increasingly been targeted by vandals.

There were just five reports of damage to bilingual signs by council officials in 2015 but this surged to 65 during 2019, the Irish News reported.

Figures also show that bilingual signs have been attacked 154 times since 2015.

That is across all four councils that use them and the attacks have cost ratepayers £22,645.50 in repairs and replacement signage.

Several signs have been sliced or torn down while others were defaced with paint and graffiti and some were even damaged with a blow torch.

The worst affected areas were Mid Ulster District Council and Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

The signs were vandalised 94 times since 2017 in Mid Ulster, costing £12,394 to fix or replace while Newry, Mourne and Down was forced to stump up £9,060.50 for 47 incidents since 2015.

Fermanagh and Omagh council recorded vandalised signs on just seven occasions at a cost of £320.

Derry City and Strabane council had six damaged signs during this time but these cost £871 to rectify.

The details for the period between 2015 and late 2019 were revealed through Freedom of Information requests.