‘Never-on-a-Sunday’ bike race row erupts in Moyle

Michael Dunlop gets off the line in the Superbike race at the Armoy road races.Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com
Michael Dunlop gets off the line in the Superbike race at the Armoy road races.Picture by Jonathan Porter/Presseye.com

A NEVER-on-a-Sunday row has revved up at Moyle Council over the possibility of staging motorbike races on the Sabbath.

A majority of Moyle Council has backed the possibility of Sunday being used for road races in Northern Ireland in response to a Stormont consultation document.

But Unionist councillors present in the Ballycastle were against the proposal.

Nationalist representatives had no objections to Sunday racing but the Council Chairperson, Cllr Cara McShane (Sinn Fein), said she was sure that the organisers of the local Armoy Road Races would be aware of the strength of opinion surrounding the Sunday issue.

Currently race organisers can only hold events on the days they have submitted but following bad weather which impacted badly on the NW200 races in recent years the government is currently consulting on having ‘contingency’ days which could include Sundays.

Ulster Unionist councillor Willie Graham said: “I’m against Sunday racing. There are six other days to race, definitely not on a Sunday”.

Cllr Donal Cunningham (SDLP) said the Armoy Road Races pass close to three churches and he said the sensitivity of the issue would be known there.

After a vote six councillors agreed with Sundays being possibly used at road races generally in Northern Ireland and four were against.