A LARGE crowd took to the centre of Ballycastle on Friday night to voice their opposition to recent vandalism in the town.
The ‘I care for our town’ rally was called by disgruntled traders in the wake of two nights of attacks earlier in the week on the vacant Marine Hotel building on Ballycastle’s promenade.
In a statement released prior to the rally in the Diamond area, Ballycastle of Chamber of Commerce said it was hoped the gathering would send a clear message out to those involved in anti-social behaviour in the town.
‘As everyone will now be aware there has been a serious spate of vandalism at the Marine Hotel leaving what can only be described as a complete mess at our sea front,’ said the statement.
‘This is an opportunity for local people from all backgrounds to say enough is enough!
‘We are fed up with anti-social elements within our town trying to destroy it.
‘In recent weeks Portrush and Portstewart has been allocated £400k from the Stormont purse so as both towns can be tided up in time for the golf tournament in June (Irish Open).
‘A high volume of people who will be making their way to the tournament will while coming from ferries in Larne and Belfast travel through Ballycastle enroute to both towns.
‘Can you imagine if you were a visitor and on your approach to Ballycastle via the Coast Road you were greeted with a boarded-up Marine Hotel in front you, doesn’t give a very good impression of our town does it?
‘With this in mind the message needs to be sent out to (Environment) Minister (Alex) Attwood MLA that what’s good for Portrush/Portstewart must be good for Ballycastle.’