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Mid Antrim 150 cancelled after criticism and race roads sabotage

Mid Antrim 150 road races, due to take place today (Saturday 10 September) in Clough, Ballymena, has been cancelled after the course was sabotaged with oil, glass and nails in the early hours of this morning.

Amongst Northern Ireland’s oldest roads events, the meet - which first began in 1946, was due to make its 'big come back' this year after not being run since 2016, with organisers putting much work and planning into ensuring its success.

Following the death on Thursday of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, organisers faced the difficult decision, with plans in place, whether to press ahead or cancel, and stated that local authorities were being consulted for advice on the race.

Subsequently, the club decided to continue with the event and Chairman of the Mid East Antrim 150 Club stated:

"As chairman of by Mid Antrim 150 Club we are all deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our Queen Elizabeth II today. After lots of discussion with club members, competitors and most importantly, residents of Clough village, it is our intention to run our event as planned this weekend with full respect, in honour to the memory of our Queen. May she rest in heavenly peace."

However, there was an outpouring of criticism online including from a local councillor.

Mid and East Antrim DUP Alderman John Carson reacted saying:

"I am totally dismayed at the decision by officials of Mid Antrim 150 to continue with this weekend’s racing.

"At a time when our nation is in deep mourning this decision is so wrong and sends out all the wrong signals."

Qualifying races took place on Friday on the roads around Clough, however organisers were dismayed after discovering in the early hours of race day that the course had been sabotaged, and were forced into cancelling the event.

In a short statement they said:

"Sadly, due to circumstances beyond our control, race day of Mid Antrim 150 road race is cancelled."

Police in Ballymena have confirmed they are investigating the incident and have appealed for witnesses.

A police speokesperson stated:

"Police in Ballymena received a report in the early hours of Saturday 10th September that glass, nails and oil had been deliberately spilled on Drumagrove Road, Cloughwater Road and Dunbought Road. Efforts are ongoing to clean these roads.

"An investigation is underway and officers would ask anyone with any information about this incident to call police in Ballymena on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference number 8 10/09/22."


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