A giant “No” slogan has been erected by anti-abortion campaigners on Ben Bulben mountain in Co Sligo.
The operation started at 4am this morning, Thursday as campaigners wrote the word No in 50m high letters with white “cladding plastic” on the north side of the mountain.
The action has sparked a furious reaction on social media, with many accusing those responsible of vandalism and of defacing the mountain .
Those behind the action say the lettering will remain in place until after the referendum next week.
During the 1970s and 1980s, various slogans including Brits Out and H Block were painted on the mountain, which was immortalised by WB Yeats.
The campaigners responsible for the No slogan said they got permission from all the landowners and that up to 20 people were involved .Campaigner Tommy Banks told Ocean FM radio that it was a “cry from the mountain to save Ireland’s babies”.
He claimed that most of the national media - including The Irish Times
- were “pro-abortion” and that €1,000 worth of No posters have been pulled down in the Sligo area .
Mr Banks said the operation was “well-planned and well-executed” .
He claimed the Government was “planning to execute the future children of Ireland” and were not listening to the people.
Mr Banks said his group had consulted local gardaí before erecting the slogan.
Gardaí said they had received no formal complaint in connection with the incident.
Sligo County Council has since taken to Twitter to say that the land where the lettering was placed is commonage, therefore they have no role in the matter.
However in a later statement the Council said, "Sligo County Council has received a number of complaints in relation to the signage on the Benbulben mountain."
"The Council considered that any issues arising from the erecting of this signage can only be dealt with under Planning legislation. The matter therefore is now subject to investigation by the Planning Enforcement Section."
"As with all complaints received, these will be investigated by enforcement staff in accordance with the provisions of planning legislation."