Police in Northern Ireland stated that they are treating the homophobic and sectarian graffiti that appeared in the town of Lurgan as a hate crime. The slogan on the paintwork, which reads “No Irish No Gay”, has appeared in the area on a number of occurrences in the past few years.
In a statement released to the Belfast Telegraph, the Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said they “received a report of criminal damage in the Pollock Drive area of Lurgan in Friday, 18th August.”
The PSNI further explained that by speaking to local residents, they learned that the graffiti might not be newly painted and instead had been there “for a number of years” and never removed.
Moreover, police said that they are now treating the graffiti in Lurgan as a “homophobic hate crime.”
I completely condemn the homophobic graffiti that has been placed on a building across from Lurgan hospital.
Lurgan is an inclusive, welcoming town in which the vast majority of residents are looking towards a positive future.
I have asked for the graffiti to be removed ASAP. pic.twitter.com/EKO1irba7s
— Peter Lavery (@plavery10) April 21, 2021
This is not the first incident of anti-Irish and homophobic graffiti appearing in the small town, with other examples emerging in July 2022. The same “No Irish No Gay” slogan also appeared on a banner hung over a motorway in Northern Ireland in 2018, which remained visible for hours before being removed by police.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Alliance Councillor Peter Lavery expressed concern about the graffiti in Lurgan, saying that it might lead to a resurgence of the slogan.
“It’s very concerning, I seen stencils did go up and around Mourneview a year or two ago, and they were reported and removed at the time,” he said. “But it’s very worrying this is now becoming a regular occurrence.”
Commenting further on the graffiti, Councillor Lavery added, “Lurgan is an inclusive, welcoming town that is looking to the future. Those spray painting these homophobic and anti-Irish statements do not represent the vast majority of people here, and I condemn them and their actions entirely.”
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