Belfast Telegraph

DUP backs Giro poll posters ban

The Democratic Unionists have called for a formal ban on election posters during the Giro d'Italia cycling race.

Northern Ireland environment minister Mark Durkan has urged all political parties to voluntarily keep the route of next May's event free of the political placards.

As well as writing to all the party leaders, he is reviewing legislation around the erection of posters on lampposts.

North Belfast DUP MP Nigel Dodds said: " The DUP will happily comply with a voluntary agreement, but we do have concerns that not all election candidates will consent to or abide by such an agreement.

"Therefore, to ensure compliance from all parties and to ensure the Giro d'Italia can be as successful as possible in marketing Northern Ireland, we call on the minister to bring forward the necessary regulations to bar the erection of posters for the three days of the Giro race."

With an estimated TV audience of 800 million in 165 countries, the race will be held in the run up to the European and local government elections.

Organisers believed coverage of the three days in Belfast, the North Coast and Armagh would be affected with prominent political billboards and placards along the streets and roadsides.

The first Northern Ireland stage of the race takes place on May 9 before the 200 riders head south for Dublin two days later. The Euro election will be held on May 22.

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