Dissident republicans blamed for sectarian graffiti

Suspect spelling: Graffiti painted on the fence at Valley Business Centre, near Rathcoole.
Suspect spelling: Graffiti painted on the fence at Valley Business Centre, near Rathcoole.
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Local councillors have condemned a spate of sectarian graffiti attacks in the borough.

Sectarian slogans have been painted on walls and fences at a number of locations in Glengormley and near Rathcoole over the past few days. The incidents follow an attack on the war memorial in Lilian Bland Community Park in the run up to the town’s annual Armistice Day remembrance service.

At Monday night’s Leisure Committee meeting, Alderman Billy Ball accused republicans of carrying out the vandalism and branded it “an absolute disgrace.”

He asked council staff to help with the removal of the graffiti where possible.

The DUP man said the police must “get their act together and get these people and get them stopped.”

Sinn Fein Cllr Gerry O’Reilly blamed a small number of people “who claim to be republicans” for recent anti-social activity and stressed that the majority of the community are opposed to such attacks.

Cllr Mark Cosgrove said dissident republicans were to blame, but stressed that “sectarianism is rife throughout the community”, not just in one section of it.

Condemning all sectarianism, the UUP man described it as “an evil that all right thinking people reject” and said that it is something that “needs to be crushed.”

Cllr Phillip Brett and Alderman John Blair condemned the recent attacks around Glengormley and praised council staff for their swift response in removing graffiti in a number of areas.

Ald. Blair said the vast majority of people would condemn the vandalism and stressed that “community relations will not be hindered by this sort of activity.”