Northern Ireland news

Racist and offensive graffiti daubed near homes in north Belfast described as 'outrageous'

Sectarian and racist graffiti has been daubed on walls around Queen Victoria Gardens in north Belfast. Picture by Mal McCann
Marie Louise McConville

RACIST and sectarian graffiti daubed on walls near homes in north Belfast has been branded "outrageous".

Vandals painted offensive slogans in four areas around Queen Victoria Gardens.

It is believed the attack, which police are treating as a hate crime, took place early yesterday.

SDLP councillor Carl Whyte said the north Belfast community was shocked.

"I condemn unreservedly those responsible for painting racist graffiti on homes in Queen Victoria Gardens," he said.

"This attack is outrageous and highly distressing for residents. The community in north Belfast are shocked at this appalling display of racism and hatred. I have just visited the local area to show my support for the residents involved."

Mr Whyte said racism had "no place in our society".

"I have contacted the council to have this display of hatred removed and I call on anyone with information on those responsible to bring it forward to the police," he said.

Sinn Féin councillor Conor Maskey said the graffiti was a "repulsive and sinister attempt to intimidate families from moving into this area".

"There is no place in our community for these cowards and their thuggish actions," he said.

"There is immense housing stress in north Belfast and there can be no `no-go' areas for families."

Mr Maskey said yesterday's attack was the latest in a series of homes being attacked and daubed with sectarian and racist graffiti.

"Sinn Féin has been in contact with the PSNI to raise our very serious concerns around this ongoing campaign of intimidation against families in north Belfast," he said.

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