Northern Ireland

Loyalist protest threat postpones Bushmills event

The official opening ceremony of a new sports facility in Bushmills was postponed on Wednesday evening because of the threat of a loyalist protest.

There have been objections to the new changing rooms at the Dundarave Playing Fields being opened by the chair of Moyle Council Padraig McShane.

It follows comments he made on this year's 12 July Orange Order parade in Ballycastle.

He claimed the PSNI had told him loyalists would stop Wednesday's event.

"The police informed me that they had met with UDA representatives in the area who indicated that they would stop the event," he said.

"Arriving at the pedestrian access to the football pitch I met Council staff and the PSNI.

"I observed women and children among the protesters and I asked that the PSNI ascertain if it was the protestors intention to allow me to carry out my duties on behalf of Moyle District Council and the good people of the village.

"Upon receipt of the information that the protestors would stop me, by force if necessary, I took the decision to postpone the ceremony with due regard for the safety of the woman and children in the area.

"I also had to consider the safety of Council staff both now and in the future along with by-standers in the vicinity."