Northern Ireland news

New south Belfast bridge targeted by vandals

The new Stranmillis bridge opened in September

A NEW pedestrian bridge in south Belfast which is part of a £5m project has been targeted by vandals and defaced with graffiti.

The Stranmillis embankment bridge opened in September and features commissioned artwork of a hare running through a meadow, which has been painted over several times.

SDLP councillor Gary McKeown posted an image on Twitter following a further attack and pleaded with those responsible to stop.

"Honestly, if you're thinking of doing this again, please stop. The artist spent a significant amount of time on this and has already had his work destroyed in another part of the city. This is poor form," he said.

Nearby wildlife murals have also been damaged with repair work underway.

Mr McKeown appealed to any passers-by who witnessed incidents to report them.

Graffiti can also be seen on one of the metal arches over the bridge, with people posting concerns that someone climbed to a dangerous height over the river and must have been seen.

Two years ago residents raised concerns that the new bridge would increase anti-social behaviour.

It is part of £4.8 million project linking Stranmillis and Annadale Embankments with a foot and cycle route.

They were also worried abut the impact on trees - a number had to be felled - and disturbance of wildlife.

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Northern Ireland news