THE authorities in places like County Antrim have an unusual ally in the battle to keep people indoors during the coronavirus pandemic.
It is currently the height of the slurry spreading season when farmers deposit …organic manure…on fields as fertiliser.
And in towns like Ballymena which are surrounded by country areas the pong is strong.
It means in many spots it is not pleasant to be out.
One cyclist, who didn’t wish to be named, said on Monday night: “I was out for my daily exercise routine on my bike in Ballymena but the smell of slurry was hard to take.
“I live at the edge of the town and the smell from nearby fields has been drifting over the town in recent days. It was particularly strong at places like the Broughshane Road.
“I suppose you could say the slurry is an unlikely ally for the government as it maybe is forcing people to quickly retreat into their houses – it certainly made me quicken the pace. It is a good job it is not April 1 yet as this was no joke.”