Hoarding in Castlewellan ‘an effort to lay claim to town by pro-united Ireland elements’

A DUP councillor in Castlewellan has complained about what he claims is an unauthorised billboard in the Co Down town, which he said has been used to display republican messaging.
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Alan Lewis, a DUP councillor for Slieve Croob (formerly with the Ulster Unionists), said the hoarding was on public land and should be removed.

It is not certain who put the hoarding up.

But Mr Lewis believes it is an attempt to “claim” the town as belonging to nationalism at large.

The hoarding in CastlewellanThe hoarding in Castlewellan
The hoarding in Castlewellan
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At present, it bears an advertisement for the Irish unity summit in Dublin tomorrow.

He said: “Republicans really do think they can do as they like, put up advertising billboards w here they like, without any prior permission or consultation.

“This isn’t a party political space. It’s a shared space in the middle of a busy town.

“Nobody wants to look at campaigns or party posturing. It’s a blatant attempt to claim Castlewellan as a nationalist town, with no regard for anyone else who lives, works or passes through it.

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“I also question why the council just turns a blind eye to this sort of nonsense [when] just last week I received calls from local businesses annoyed that advertising signage was removed and warning letters received from Department for Infrastructure for postering or placing billboards on public property.

“It’s no concern of mine if like-minded Irish nationalists want to meet in Dublin, slap themselves on the back, and blow hot air into the wind on how great a new Ireland will be.

“Frankly they can talk all night for all I care.

“But don’t infect public green areas with party political advertising, creating division and upset, stamping your mark, forcing everyone to buy into your agenda. It’s not on.”

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