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The Open organisers warn workers in Portrush of bonfire 'disorder'

A sign outside the club
A sign outside the club

The organisers of the Open in Portrush have warned workers to be aware of possible bonfire "disorder" and "a risk of disruption" from Orange parades.

Employees at the golf championship have been asked to "avoid displaying football colours" and to "be sensitive to any conversations in public regarding Northern Ireland politics or the Troubles".

In fresh guidance seen by The Irish News after it was issued some weeks ahead of The 148th Open Championship, organisers said bonfires "have previously led to a degree of disorder" and parades could bring a "risk of disruption.. particularly where there are counter-demonstrations".

Golf fans coming to Northern Ireland for The Open championship in Portrush have been urged by the Orange Order to sample the Orange as well as the greens as they try and drum up support for a new drive to attract tourists.

The leaders of the Order are trying to encourage visitors arriving early for the event, which is taking place from July 14-21, to swing by the Twelfth of July celebrations, which they say are open to everyone.

In a memo entitled 'Message to all Contractors and Service Providers to The Open 2019', organisers issued new advice to workers.

"Numerous parades, both large and small, will be held in the lead up to the 12th and throughout the marching season," it said.

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"There will be a significant increase in the number of flags and bunting put up in areas across NI. This will usually occur in June, July and August.

"During this period, it is recommended to avoid displaying football colours. It is also recommended to be sensitive to any conversations in public regarding Northern Ireland politics or the Troubles."

"On the night of July 11 bonfires will be lit at a number of locations throughout NI and these have previously led to a degree of disorder," it read.

"In these areas, there will be increased police resources and your travel movement may be affected.

"In addition to the increase in traffic on the roads, there is a risk of disruption in towns and cities where parades are taking place, particularly where there are counter-demonstrations."

The memo also mentions the North West 200 in May as one of two "notable annual events affecting our construction works at Royal Portrush".

"We give guidance to our contractors each year to assist them in going about their duties and to make them aware of any other events taking place in the area," said spokesman for The Open's organisers The R&A.

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