Sinn Féin Councillor, Cara McShane, has described those responsible for cutting the rope at the world famous Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge as mindless thugs.
Cllr McShane, who has grown up in the neighbouring village of Ballintoy and who worked at the rope-bridge as a student, said:
“This was a wanton act of vandalism, dangerous at best and potentially life-threatening. Only for the diligent safety checks carried out by staff, visitors arriving this morning to cross the world-famous rope-bridge could have been exposed to a serious safety risk.
“This is the first time I have ever been aware of any deliberate act of destruction to the bridge. Engineers are now at the rope-bridge to carry out repairs, however, it is not known if the entire bridge will need to be replaced or if the hand-ropes can be repaired.
“While public safety is absolutely paramount, it is unfortunate that hundreds of tourists today have been left bitterly disappointed. We are coming into a bank holiday weekend and the good weather this week, has saw large visitor numbers to the site.
In a statement earlier, a spokesperson for the National Trust said “Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge will be closed today and for the foreseeable future due to an act of vandalism overnight.
The National Trust is currently working with structural engineers to assess the level of damage as safety of visitors and staff is of upmost importance.”