'No Irish No Gay' Banner Appears Over Motorway In Northern Ireland

Police are currently treating the appearance of a homophobic and anti-Irish banner as a hate crime.

The homophobic banner over the motorway in Belfast.

Police in Northern Ireland have removed a banner reading “No Irish No Gay” from a bridge over a motorway junction in Northern Ireland.

The banner was visible to drivers on the M1 between junctions 9 and 10, between Lurgan in Co. Armagh and Moira in Co. Down.

Journalist Amanda Ferguson took to Twitter to share the image of the banner which appeared on October 19.

Ferguson tweeted:

“Hate mongers at their work again. This anti-Irish, homophobic banner has appeared on the M1 between junction 10 (Oxford Island) and junction 9 (International Airport).”

Ferguson added:

“I can’t see this taking off tbh. Just not as catchy as: No woman, no cry!”

The police removed the banner overlooking the motorway and have appealed for any information in connection with its appearance. Anyone with information regarding the banner is encouraged to contact police officers in Lurgan on 101 quoting reference number 516 of 19/10/18. The PSNI are currently treating the incident as a hate-crime, calling it a “hate incident with a racial and homophobic motive.”

Pat Catney of the Social Democratic and Labour Party condemned the banner’s anti-Irish and homophobic message:

“For too long anti-Irish rhetoric was deemed acceptable across these islands. These days are long gone and despite the best efforts of some, they aren’t coming back.

“Likewise, spray can warriors will not hold back the progression of LGBT+ rights here in the North. These views are not representative of the majority of people in Northern Ireland and they will not be tolerated.”

The banner appeared the day before thousands of protesters gathered for an anti-Brexit rally in Belfast. With this in mind, the Green Party in Northern Ireland jokingly took to Twitter with a photoshopped edition of the banner reading “Now Irish Now Gay”. In their caption they wrote:

“Someone in Lurgan has had a big day. They’re ready for a no deal #brexit with a brand new Irish passport and they have come out in the most public of ways.”

As it stands, Northern Ireland is the only part of the UK which still bans marriage for same-sex couples, despite majority support among both the Northern Ireland Assembly and the public. A Sky News poll showed, in April, that 76% of the public showed support for marriage equality.

© 2018 GCN (Gay Community News). All rights reserved.

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