Many of the roads used by the rally in and around the Dromara Hills and Slieve Croob remain burried under snowdrifts of up to 12 feet. Councillor Clarke said the decision was the right one, especially as clearing efforts are set to continue until the weekend and low temperatures are expected to remain.
Councillor Patrick Clarke said: “The rural community in the Slieve Croob area are experiencing intense difficulties due to ongoing trecherous conditions. With the current situation I welcome the decision by the event management team to cancel the rally.
“I know everyone involved will be disappointed the event cannot go ahead, but there are more important issues in the area to be dealt with. Many are still struggling to gain access to and from their homes and farmers are dealing with the devastating deaths of many of their animals.
“It is also a matter of safety as many of the roads earmarked for the rally are still dangerous to pass. On top of this closing more roads in the area will not help those currently finding it difficult to get around.
“The Easter Stages Rally is a great event and one that is well supported in the Down area. I hope the group can look at alternate plans so the popular rally can still do ahead this year.”