NewsNorthern Ireland

Unionist politician calls for removal of manhole covers with Irish word on them

The manhole covers feature the Irish and Englsih language
The manhole covers feature the Irish and Englsih language

A demand has been made for Irish language words to be removed from manhole covers in Ballymena.

Timothy Gaston, the deputy mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough Council, a member of Jim Allister's Traditional Unionist Voice party, wants metal coverings installed as part of a £4m public realm scheme in Ballymena to be replaced.

The coverings are bilingual and as well as the word 'water' they also contain the word 'uisce', which is the Irish word for water.

Timothy Gaston is urging the removal of recently applied water covers which feature the Irish language. He said: "I hope this is an oversight and I encourage the contractor to get these changed as soon as possible.

"Constituents have contacted me to raise questions over the use of the Irish water hydrant covers on the ratepayer-funded public realm project in Ballymena town centre."

A Mid and East Antrim Borough Council spokesman said: "Our officials are currently looking into the issue of the water main covers in Ballymena, so cannot make any further comment at the moment."

Gaston's father Sam campaigned for, and succeeded, in getting the word 'Yield' removed from McDonald's drive-thru sign in Ballymena as it was the word used in the Republic.

It was replaced with a 'Give Way' sign.