Giant 'No' sign on iconic Ben Bulben mountain removed
The giant 'No' sign that appeared on Ben Bullen mountain yesterday has been removed.
The 'No' sign was erected on the north-facing side of the mountain by the Sligo for Life group after fearing their argument ahead of next week's referendum was "not being heard".
As the mist lifted around the mountain this morning, locals were surprised to see the 'No' sign was gone, with remnants of the lettering scattered on the mountainside.
A spokesperson for Sligo County Council said it was "being dealt with by the planning enforcement section of the council".
"They know all about it and they are dealing with it," they said.
An investigation into the sign began yesterday after Sligo County Council received numerous complaints from the public. The National Parks and Wildlife Service also advised the owners to remove it.
"The insinuation of alien materials such as this onto a special area of conservation is insensitive to its conservation status and incompatible with the habitat," they said in a statement.
Sligo County Councillor Marie Casserly said she was "happy" to see that the sign was gone this morning.
"It's such a sensitive matter and people feel strongly about it from both sides. Ben Bullen wasn't the place to make a protest," she told Independent.ie.
"I think people were more annoyed that such an iconic landmark was used. People will be glad when the referendum is over, it's such an important topic but there are people in the middle that are still unsure about what way to vote."
One of the people to put up the sign at 4am yesterday morning, Tommy Banks, told Niall Delaney on OceanFM yesterday morning that the sign was "a cry from the mountains to save Ireland’s babies because no one is listening."
By Thursday night, Mr. Banks told OceanFM that the group had received threats from members of the public to remove the sign.
"A threat was made from some of the Yes people. One of them came to me and said, 'that will come down'. That was reported to the guards, it's private property."
The sign received negative reactions from the public yesterday, with a local priest saying there was "no need for it".
With the Catholic Church advocating a 'No' vote, Fr Christy said that this slogan has only damaged the campaign. "We don’t need this kind of thing to make a point," he said.