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Sinn Fein accused of ‘hijacking’ road signs in north Belfast for ‘party politicking’ by DUP MLA

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One of the Sinn Fein signs placed

One of the Sinn Fein signs placed

One of the Sinn Fein signs placed

Sinn Fein has been accused of hijacking road signs in north Belfast for “party politicking” purposes, according to a local DUP MLA.

An image of the red slow sign attached to a tree shows the word “slow” written in both English and Irish and also includes a logo of Sinn Fein.

According to the DUP who shared the photo, the signs have been placed in the Deerpark and Oldpark Road areas of the city.

MLA Brian Kingston accused the nationalist party of having “dragged road safety into the realm of party politics”.

“Traffic calming measures and road safety should be something which should unite people from every background,” Mr Kingston said.

“If any community has concerns about safety issues then signage or other measures might be necessary, but there are simply no circumstances where those signs need to bear the logo of any political party.”

The MLA claimed a number of those within the community contacted the politician over the matter and said they don’t want them to “become a permanent fixture in their area”.

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He also suggested such signs, if badly placed, “could only make visibility worse and exacerbate problems”.

"Traffic calming measures and road safety should be something which should unite people from every background,” Mr Kingston said.

“Sinn Fein however, have even managed to drag road safety into the realm of party politics. If any community has concerns about safety issues, then signage or other measures might be necessary, but there are simply no circumstances where those signs need to bear the logo of any political party.

“Sinn Fein's signs are nothing more than a transparent attempt to hijack road safety for party politicking.

“It's also a fairly obvious dismissal of the Department for Infrastructure's ability to deliver proper safety measures in the area. That is of course a Department which is headed by a Sinn Fein Minister.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for the Department for Infrastructure confirmed they have received correspondence from Mr Kingston over the issue and added: “The matter is under consideration by DfI Roads.”

Mr Kingston added: “There is absolutely nothing wrong with any party campaigning and lobbying for better road safety, but residents within this mixed community who have contacted me don't want to feel the issue is ‘owned’ by Sinn Fein through the erection of signage.

“Sinn Fein will also have been perfectly aware that the inclusion of dual language on the signs is also going to have added a further political dimension.”

Mr Kingston demanded Sinn Fein “take the signs down and start engaging in real politics instead”.

A Sinn Fein spokesperson said: “We are dismayed that at a time when Mr Kingston’s party has walked away from the Assembly, the Executive and its responsibilities to support workers and families during a cost of living crisis and tackle growing hospital lists that he is exercised about signs placed by local road safety campaigners clearly designed to save lives.

“Sinn Fein along with local residents have been calling for road safety measures in the Oldpark area consistently and if these signs help save one child’s life then this is a worthwhile intervention.”


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