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Council stonewalls request to remove prankster’s cheeky signs on Newcastle seafront rocks


The rocks along Newcastle seafront

The rocks along Newcastle seafront

One of the signs on the rocks at Newcastle

One of the signs on the rocks at Newcastle


The rocks along Newcastle seafront

HUMOROUS gold metal signs affixed to rocks along Newcastle seafront by a cheeky prankster have been taken down.

But a few jokey plates — like ‘Don’t Worry Beach Happy’ — have so far been allowed to remain.

Newry, Mourne and Down council has removed signs which included the names of Hollywood superstars like Sylvester Stallone.

But others containing only slogans are so far being allowed to stay, despite a councillor’s urgent objections.

As Sunday Life revealed last month, the small signs were attached to the huge boulders which divide the resort’s Tropicana pool and leisure complex from the beach.

The identity of the culprit who placed the signs has yet to be established. There is believed to be no CCTV footage.

But there were fears that failing to take the signs down now might encourage more to appear.

TUV councillor Harold McKee said he had seen an internal council memo asking for all the signs to be removed.

But he confirmed that, despite his initial request, others remain.

“I see the three metal signs removed that had a person’s name on them but the others are still up,” the former Ulster Unionist MLA — who lost out on an Assembly seat to the DUP’s Diane Forsythe last month — said.

“I would say the remaining signs won’t be taken down by the council because they don’t have a person’s name on them.

“Someone certainly had time on their hands, adding a bit of fun but unfortunately council policy as far as I am aware is that no names should be included on council property including buildings, benches and gardens. Officials I have contacted have no idea how the plates got there.”

And Mr McKee speculated: “Whoever came up with the idea of naming and sticking the plates beside holes in the rock, which may be used to split the boulders using dynamite, was perhaps of American origin.”

There was no immediate response from the council on why they had differentiated between the signs containing names and the others.

But in an earlier reply, a spokesperson said: “This matter has not been discussed at any of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council committee meetings and there are no plans to take any action in relation to the removal of the signs.”

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