Appeal for calm after sectarian graffiti attacks

Republican slogans were painted on the wall of the Ulster Bank in the centre of Glengormley last month.
Republican slogans were painted on the wall of the Ulster Bank in the centre of Glengormley last month.

North Belfast MLA Paula Bradley has appealed for calm following a spate of sectarian graffiti attacks in Glengormley over recent weeks.

Republican slogans were painted on a number of business premises in the lead up to the town’s annual Mini Twelfth parade, and the Barron Hall cross-community facility was attacked by vandals sometime overnight on July 2/3.

Paula Bradley MLA.

Paula Bradley MLA.

“The attack on the Barron Hall and recent incidents of sectarian graffiti are absolutely mindless and only serve to heighten fear and tension in the area” Ms Bradley said. “Whilst these incidents have caused widespread annoyance and upset, I know that the vast majority of people in Glengormley want to live together in peace and harmony.”

The DUP politician continued: “I am calling for tensions to be de-escalated in the town and for no retaliation to any of these incidents.

“I welcome the fact that the PSNI has already brought some of those involved in recent trouble before the courts and this should be a strong warning to anyone who would consider engaging in further sectarian criminality in Glengormley.”

Local Ulster Unionist Party representative, Andy Allen also condemned the recent spate of sectarian incidents, particularly the attack on the Barron Hall.

“I would unreservedly condemn these attacks,” he said. “Such wanton vandalism is not representative of the wider community and I would urge those responsible to consider their actions and their impact on the community.”

Echoing Ms Bradley’s plea, Mr Allen urged people to stay calm and to let the police deal with those intent on stirring up sectarian tensions.

• Read related story - Cross-community facility targeted in sectarian attack