Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 December 2014

Bridge protests will continue in Bangor

Protestors at the Boyne Bridge
Protestors at the Boyne Bridge

Further protests are planned over the official naming of a bridge in Bangor, it has been claimed.

RESPECT, a group set up to retain Protestant culture across Northern Ireland, organised last week's protest at Boyne Bridge on the Brunswick Road. The protest was in reaction to a Department of Regional Development (DRD) decision not to give the bridge an official name.

The structure, which has been known for over a century as the Boyne Bridge, will not get an official plaque after a proposal was rejected by DRD. North Down Borough Council had originally backed a motion calling for the council to write a letter to DRD calling for one to be erected.

Last week's protest, which involved dozens of protestors, centred on what organisers claimed was an “attack on their Protestant heritage”. Organisers say they will now be intensifying their protests between now and the July 12 celebrations.

A RESPECT spokesman said ordinance survey maps “have for many years shown the bridge to be called Boyne Bridge”.

“We call upon the Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, whose remit includes ‘working towards the elimination of discrimination’ to investigate this matter thoroughly and help protect and retain Protestant culture in North Down,” they said.

A spokeswoman for the DRD said: “The department has received several previous requests to provide nameplates at several bridges within the North Down area.

“As explained on those occasions, Roads Service does not normally erect nameplates retrospectively to highlight the name of a bridge or other structure as this is not considered to be a good use of our limited resources.”

North Down Borough Council would not comment on the issue but the Mayor, Councillor Tony Hill, said: “We passed a motion to write a letter to DRD calling for the erection of this plaque but it was refused. As far as I am concerned that is the end of the matter.”

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