From the heyday of The Open in summer 2019, to the harsh reality of Portrush in spring 2020. This is the ‘adapted’ sign (above) greeting those arriving at the seaside resort this morning.
Last month funding was cut for the Portrush Air Show as Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council struggles with debts of around £70m. The annual aviation display was a flagship event for tourism along Northern Ireland’s north coast.
In recent days the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association Northern Ireland Branch confirmed they will not be hosting the annual North West Pipe Band Championships and Champion of Champions competition in the town this year and the future of Barry’s Amusements is also unknown at this stage.
Commenting on the vandalism UUP Councillor Norman Hillis said “I am totally disgusted and appalled at the wanton vandalism of the Open Signage located at the Metropole in Portrush.
Portrush is very proud to have hosted The 148th Open and it has brought £100m of benefits to all of Northern Ireland and we hope to see this return in a few years time.
I know at the present time there has been negativity and frustration around events, the introduction of car parking charges but this sort of vandalism only adds to our problems and certainly does not solve them.”