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A councillor wants an all-Ireland ban on the sale of silly string

A Northern Ireland councillor is not happy about the sale of silly string which he said is “messy” and “unsightly”.

Image: Boy Getting Nailed with String via Shutterstock

A COUNCILLOR IN Northern Ireland is calling for a ban on the sale of silly string across the island of Ireland describing the aerosol which sprays plastic string as messy and unsightly.

DUP councillor Bert Johnston is bring a motion to Fermanagh District Council tonight calling for the Environment Minister in the North to ban the sale of the product which is often used at parties, weddings and other festive occasions.

He is also calling for an all-Ireland ban, saying that this would prevent the sale of such products in border counties that could then be brought into the North.

“I think it’s a messy thing and there should be some other product that young people can use rather than something that messes up our footpaths and walls,” he told TheJournal.ie, comparing it to chewing gum.

Asked if there was any particular reason or incident that has led to this call, Johnston said: “It’s like anything, you’ll tolerate it for a time but eventually you get fed-up.

“It’s very difficult to clean-up. It makes a place unsightly and is difficult to remove.”

Johnston said that if the council passes his motion and ends up writing to the North’s Environment Minister Alex Attwood he will also ask the minister to use his influence “further afield, wherever he thinks it could be stopped”.

“I mean if it is sold in Cavan or Monaghan that would effect us because people who do want it could buy it there,” he said, comparing it to the sale of fireworks which are sold in the North but banned in the Republic.

Asked about the possibility that his motion will be carried, Johnston said he has “no idea” but that he will accept whatever the council decides.

“We have to accept democracy,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Department of the Environment here said that the councillor was entitled to make any representations he wants but said that there are currently no proposals to ban the sale of silly string in this State.

Hat tip to Rodney Edwards from the Impartial Reporter who first reported this story.

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Hugh O'Connell

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