Anti-vandal devices to combat ‘thugs’ moving signage

ANTI-vandal devices are likely to be placed on Kerry’s roadsigns — where an age-old practice of misdirecting tourists in the Kingdom remains alive and well.

Efforts to weld direction signs and even fix countersunk bolts into concrete settings is not combating problems of mischievousness and, in some cases, pure ‘thuggery’.

Furthermore, theft of signs is continuing, a local authority meeting has heard.

The motoring public — particularly tourists — were growing increasingly frustrated at being deliberately misdirected, a July meeting of Kerry County Council was told.

It heard how “thugs” were deliberately putting tourists astray and leading them to take wrong turnings, often ending up down country boreens, or cul de sacs, instead of scenic locations.

In some cases, the signs were lifted completely, leaving the bewildered tourist searching for a major viewing spot.

Two separate motions on the matter came before the full council meeting.

Killarney area councillor Michael Gleeson asked the council to “erect road signage that cannot be easily manipulated into misdirecting visitors”.

Cllr Gleeson said misdirecting tourists was carried out by thugs and it did a great disservice to the tourist industry upon which the county depended.

Paul O’Donoghue who represents the Ring of Kerry also called for a review of signage. He said that there were no signs at all in some areas.

Ger Mc Namara, a senior council engineer, said it was looking at the idea of square posts. Misdirecting mostly had to do with fingerpost signs, he said.

“In some areas we have experienced the theft of the signs themselves. In other locations, signs have been manipulated even though we have welded signs and used countersunk bolts to affix them,” he said in a report.

“Contact will be made with the main sign providers to see if they can incorporate some form of anti-vandal devices to eliminate interference with these signs,” Mr McNamara said.


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