Northern Ireland news

Anger as Irish language sign vandalised in Co Derry

The vandalised sign for Gulladuff Hill, with a pile of rubbish dumped beside it
Mairead Holland

A ROAD sign in Co Derry which householders voted to have erected in both English and Irish has been ripped out and defaced in the latest such incident.

A pile of household rubbish has also been dumped beside the sign for the townland of Gulladuff, with the Irish version of the name painted over.

A local resident has expressed his disgust at the "mindless vandalism" and said the erection of the sign almost eight weeks ago had been a "very democratic process".

Mid Ulster Council recently contacted householders asking if they wished to have the name of their townland/road/street printed in both English and Irish, with the final decision for each road determined by majority vote.

Vandalism of Irish signs in the area was raised last month by Sinn Féin councillor Sean Clarke who said he had been inundated with calls from residents.

A recent meeting of the council’s environment committee heard approximately £13,000 had been spent on dual language signage which included the removal of any old signage.

Councillor Clarke said: “These signs have been erected at the behest of local residents ... defacing and destroying this signage is therefore attacking the legitimate aspirations and demands of these local communities.

“It is also an absolute waste of ratepayers' money because these signs will be replaced as necessary.

“There must be zero tolerance for criminal behaviour of this type."


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