Northern Ireland

‘Pathetic’ anti-immigration signs in south Belfast removed by SDLP councillor

Balmoral rep Donal Lyons thanked residents for support in taking down signs in Finaghy area

One of the anti-immigration signs in Finaghy which police are treating as a hate crime. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN
One of the anti-immigration signs erected in Finaghy which police are treating as a hate crime. PICTURE: MAL MCCANN

Anti-immigration signs that appeared in a part of south Belfast have been removed by a local councillor who described them as “pathetic and indefensible”.

The signs were first reported in the Finaghy area last month, with the wording “we have had enough of undesirables and immigrants in our community. The time has come for locals only”.

They stated: “The time has come for locals only. The Finaghy community must and will come first.”

The message on the signs was aimed at landlords, housing associations and the Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE), and added: “We will protect our families at all costs. This we promise.”

Police have said they are investigating the erection of the signs on street furniture including lampposts as a hate crime.

A PSNI spokesperson called them “offensive and unacceptable” and said in a statement officers were “working together across the local community and with partner agencies to secure a removal of these posters”.

However, on Wednesday SDLP Balmoral councillor Donal Lyons took matters into his own hands, and led the removal of the signs.

He wrote in a post to X, formerly Twitter: “Thanks to Finaghy residents and party colleagues for the help in getting these pathetic and indefensible posters down.

“It’s not enough to rely on a councillor with a ladder playing whack-a-mole, we need to see overdue action from government departments and public bodies.”

Mr Lyons removed similar posters targeting immigrants in the Belvoir area of Belfast last November.

An NIHE spokesperson described the recent appearance of the signs in Finaghy as “particularly disappointing”, adding: “All our housing allocations will continue to be carried out in line with the rules of the common housing selection scheme.”