‘Yes’ banner to be restored after removal from Cork’s North Main Street

Yes vote campaigners are planning to re-hang a huge marriage equality banner over one of Cork City’s busiest streets after its unauthorised removal earlier this week.

The banner, which was removed on Monday, was finally returned to the campaign yesterday, following negotiations.

Yes Equality Cork spokesman Arthur Leahy said he believes it was removed, following complaints from shoppers, by three men who run businesses on North Main St.

“It may have been done impulsively and without thought. But they had no legal right to do it. It was an act of arrogance,” he said.

“We have lost four days and we will be examining it for possible damage but it is our intention to replace it over the coming days.”

Mr Leahy last week helped erect the €1,000, two-sided banner advocating a yes vote in next week’s same-sex marriage referendum, between Benny McCabe’s BDSM pub and the mmMad outlet, with the permission of the building owners. CCTV footage captured three men removing it at around 7.45am on Monday. Yes supporters made contact with those who took it down, and the banner was returned yesterday afternoon.

“When we discovered that it had been deliberately taken down, we were extremely disappointed,” Mr Leahy said. “They had no right to take it down. We got no complaint about it from businesses on the street. If people who had an issue had come to us, we could have done something about it.”

Mr Leahy said both sides of the debate should be able to respect each other’s views.

Mr McCabe, who runs several city pubs, said he was angry that his building had been interfered with during the banner removal. Last month, he hit back at no campaigners who complained that they were not allowed to distribute their leaflets in his Bodega venue.

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